Addressing the cost of infractions in the online literature and databases

Rodney J. Dilley, Oliver G. Ash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Myocardial infarction sometimes appears misspelt as myocardial infraction in the cardiovascular research literature. With accurate citation of literature contributions important to advancing the field and its contributors, in this study we aimed to document the frequency and explore the causes and impact of this error specific to the cardiology literature. Literature databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, WIPO, Google Scholar, Google) were searched to identify the rate of myocardial infraction errors and found an error rate between 0.2% and 1.6%, with substantial differences between search tools used. A Scopus search was used to show changes in errors over time, differences between journals and by specific authors. Myocardial infraction occurred at increasing annual rates over time and at higher rates than other errors. Increasing error rates were associated with increased volume of searchable material rather than quality of the literature. Transcription from article to database is a common source of error and some databases have higher rates of these errors. Simple measures to avoid and to correct these errors in the literature and the databases are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0188761
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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