More Citation Vigilance
We find the recent dialogue regarding citation vigilance and the disregard syndrome1 both stimulating and invaluable, and could not agree with you more. In fact, we found the topic so compelling, we have written an education/research case study to assist graduate students in developing good literature reviews, which is based in part on articles in The Scientist.
Further, we believe Ginsburg's opinion piece will serve as an excellent case study in and of itself. In reviewing Ginsburg's cited references we observed the following:
In reference 2, The Journal of Leukemia Biology does not exist. The manuscript was published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Furthermore, the manuscript was published in 1998, Volume 64, Issue 1, and encompasses pages 14-18.
In reference 5, the pages actually run from 555-64.
In reference 6, the word "acid" should be plural, as originally published.
Although these examples are minor, they prove disconcerting for the conscientious researcher and ethicist. This is particularly true given the context in which these references were offered.
We do not know, of course, whether these self-referential errors were a subtle but conscious test of readers' vigilance. However, the errors were certainly highly educational and strongly emphasize the author's points.
Valerie Askren, University of Kentucky
Raymond Carthy, University of Florida
Carlene Chase, University of Florida
Gary Comstock, Iowa State University
Eldon Franz, Washington State University
Taiwo Oriola, National University of Singapore