Scott Armstrong and Malcolm Wright recently published a paper that should be of some interest to those who read or quote papers on science. It seems that many authors of scientific paper often do not read or understand the papers they cite. As a result, they often misquote studies.
For example, in a study on the proper way to adjust for non-response bias in mail surveys, 95% of of the studies that cited a paper in support of their approach actually violated the procedures recommended in the paper they cited.
Armstrong and Wright propose a simple solution and, so far, editors of two journals, Interfaces and the International Journal of Forecasting (IJF), said that they plan to introduce this procedure on verification. In effect, prior to final acceptance, authors are asked to sign that each paper cited has been read by at least one of the authors.
The paper Malcolm Wright, J. Scott Armstrong (2008), "The Ombudsman: Verification of Citations: Fawlty Towers of Knowledge? (with commentary and reply)", Interfaces, 38, No. 2, 125-139, is in full text at marketing.wharton.upenn.edu.