Misquotation of papers: an example?

Terence P. Ma tpm at anat.UMSMED.EDU
Sun Oct 10 14:06:27 EST 1993


In article 1 at molbiol.ox.ac.uk, iwilson at molbiol.ox.ac.uk () writes:
>I don't know whether any of you lot out there have had similar experiences:
>You read someone else's paper and they refer to one of yours and they MISquote 
>it!

[ example deleted ]

Well, all I can say is that I have come across papers where the authors
have misquoted themselves.

Whether a quotation is correct depends on what is understood by the
authors. I think we owe it to each other to make our writing completely
comprehensible. Moreover, it seems to me that when we review
manuscripts, we have the obligation to check the references, especially
if it is important to the thesis of the paper. In my view, it is the
job of the reviewers and editors to ascertain the "facts" discussed in
a paper. Checking quotations is not an impossible task.

Personally, I doubt that anyone misquotes on purpose. A friendly letter
to the authors pointing out the error would probably be best post hoc
(that is, after the paper is out). If I saw it in a preprint or during
review, I would most certainly point it out so that it can be caught
prior to publication.

---
Terence P. Ma, Ph.D.		Department of Anatomy
VOICE:	   601-984-1654		University of Mississippi Med. Ctr.
FAX:	   601-984-1655		2500 North State Street
INTERNET:  tpm at anat.UMSMED.EDU	Jackson, MS 39216-4505



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