Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Online access to information
has changed the scope of medical research and data collection. Information
formerly available only through many hours with Index Medicus and extensive correspondence is now easily obtained by most researchers.
With this method of data collection becoming more widespread, Web site references
are becoming more prevalent in leading medical journals.1 In
1984, prior to the proliferation of Internet references, de Lacey et al2 examined a random sample of citations from 6 medical
journals and found an 8% major and a 24% overall error rate in citations referencing
printed works. Twenty years later we investigated the accessibility and accuracy
of Internet references for studies in 5 major medical journals 3 months after
Crichlow R, Davies S, Winbush N. Accessibility and Accuracy of Web Page References in 5 Major Medical Journals. JAMA. 2004;292(22):2720-2726. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2723-c