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In 2005 the authors reviewed citation help in databases and found an error rate of 4.4 errors per citation. This article describes a follow-up study which revealed a modest improvement in the error rate to 3.4 errors per citation, still unacceptably high. The most problematic area was retrieval statements. The authors conclude that librarians should include citation features in the evaluation of databases, and should open a dialogue with vendors about the importance of providing accurate, reliable information about citations to students.


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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Public Services Quarterly in 2012, available online:

Table 1 Citation Help the More.doc (36 kB)
Table 1. Summary of Errors by Category in Example Citations

Table 2 Citation Help the More.doc (41 kB)
Table 2. Summary of Errors by Category in Reviewed Citations



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