I've always been interested in the phenomenon of papers where the authors have cited papers that they haven't read -- and often cite them incorrectly: either the citation itself is wrong or they're misrepresenting the information / conclusions in the paper cited.
I often strongly suggested to grad students who are preparing their dissertations that they be SURE to look at EVERY paper they cite in their disseration / articles! I had thought, with the advent of reference management systems such as EndNote and RefWorks that the phenomenon of bad citations would decline.... apparently not.
Apparently this problem is still around.
As summarized in the July 8 Inside Higher Ed:
and as reported in Interfaces:
Vol. 38, No. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 125-139
The Ombudsman: Verification of Citations: Fawlty Towers of Knowledge?
Malcolm Wright, J. Scott Armstrong
Posted by Katie Newman at July 8, 2008 10:52 AM