Results from original studies are not always correctly represented in subsequent medical publications. In this study, randomly selected quotations from Israeli medical journals were examined. Less than 80% of the examined statements were in complete agreement with the original source. In about 7% the cited reference failed to substantiate the previous author's statement. Similar results were found over a range of American and European general and speciality journals. It is concluded that errors in quotation are a widespread problem in the biomedical literature. Editors and peer reviewers can improve quotation accuracy by stressing this issue in decisions regarding publication. Nevertheless, it seems that the most efficient solution would be for authors to increase their vigilance in accurately quoting results and statements from previous publications.