Specht CG. Opinion: Mutations of citations. Just like general information, citations can accumulate heritable mutations. The Scientist.com 16th September 2010.
Citation variants - that can comprise the author's name, journal, volume, first page number and year of publication - arise through a variety of mechanisms similar to those described by molecular genetics and that can be described in genetic terms. As they are often found in publications that cite one another it seems as they are heritable between scientists. The high incidence of wrong citations (WCs) reflects the fact that the contained information is to a certain extent redundant.