Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications.
ABSTRACT: A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ?10-fold since 1975. Retractions exhibit distinctive temporal and geographic patterns that may reveal underlying causes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Measures to ensure research integrity have been widely discussed due to the social, economic and scientific impact of research integrity. In the past few years, financial support for health research in emerging countries has steadily increased, resulting in a growing number of scientific publications. These achievements, however, have been accompanied by a rise in retracted publications followed by concerns about the quality and reliability of such publications. OBJECTIVE:This systematic review aimed to investigate the profile of medical and life sciences research retractions from authors affiliated with Brazilian academic institutions. The chronological trend between publication and retraction date, reasons for the retraction, citation of the article after the retraction, study design, and the number of retracted publications by author and affiliation were assessed. Additionally, the quality, availability and accessibility of data regarding retracted papers from the publishers are described. METHODS:Two independent reviewers searched for articles that had been retracted since 2004 via PubMed, Web of Science, Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde (BVS) and Google Scholar databases. Indexed keywords from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Descritores em Ciências da Saúde (DeCS) in Portuguese, English or Spanish were used. Data were also collected from the Retraction Watch website (www.retractionwatch.com). This study was registered with the PROSPERO systematic review database (CRD42017071647). RESULTS:A final sample of 65 articles was retrieved from 55 different journals with reported impact factors ranging from 0 to 32.86, with a median value of 4.40 and a mean of 4.69. The types of documents found were erratum (1), retracted articles (3), retracted articles with a retraction notice (5), retraction notices with erratum (3), and retraction notices (45). The assessment of the Retraction Watch website added 8 articles that were not identified by the search strategy using the bibliographic databases. The retracted publications covered a wide range of study designs. Experimental studies (40) and literature reviews (15) accounted for 84.6% of the retracted articles. Within the field of health and life sciences, medical science was the field with the largest number of retractions (34), followed by biological sciences (17). Some articles were retracted for at least two distinct reasons (13). Among the retrieved articles, plagiarism was the main reason for retraction (60%). Missing data were found in 57% of the retraction notices, which was a limitation to this review. In addition, 63% of the articles were cited after their retraction. CONCLUSION:Publications are not retracted solely for research misconduct but also for honest error. Nevertheless, considering authors affiliated with Brazilian institutions, this review concluded that most of the retracted health and life sciences publications were retracted due to research misconduct. Because the number of publications is the most valued indicator of scientific productivity for funding and career progression purposes, a systematic effort from the national research councils, funding agencies, universities and scientific journals is needed to avoid an escalating trend of research misconduct. More investigations are needed to comprehend the underlying factors of research misconduct and its increasing manifestation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The number of retracted scientific publications has risen sharply, but it is unclear whether this reflects an increase in publication of flawed articles or an increase in the rate at which flawed articles are withdrawn. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We examined the interval between publication and retraction for 2,047 retracted articles indexed in PubMed. Time-to-retraction (from publication of article to publication of retraction) averaged 32.91 months. Among 714 retracted articles published in or before 2002, retraction required 49.82 months; among 1,333 retracted articles published after 2002, retraction required 23.82 months (p<0.0001). This suggests that journals are retracting papers more quickly than in the past, although recent articles requiring retraction may not have been recognized yet. To test the hypothesis that time-to-retraction is shorter for articles that receive careful scrutiny, time-to-retraction was correlated with journal impact factor (IF). Time-to-retraction was significantly shorter for high-IF journals, but only ?1% of the variance in time-to-retraction was explained by increased scrutiny. The first article retracted for plagiarism was published in 1979 and the first for duplicate publication in 1990, showing that articles are now retracted for reasons not cited in the past. The proportional impact of authors with multiple retractions was greater in 1972-1992 than in the current era (p<0.001). From 1972-1992, 46.0% of retracted papers were written by authors with a single retraction; from 1993 to 2012, 63.1% of retracted papers were written by single-retraction authors (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The increase in retracted articles appears to reflect changes in the behavior of both authors and institutions. Lower barriers to publication of flawed articles are seen in the increase in number and proportion of retractions by authors with a single retraction. Lower barriers to retraction are apparent in an increase in retraction for "new" offenses such as plagiarism and a decrease in the time-to-retraction of flawed work.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The present systematic review aimed to perform an in-depth analysis of the different features of retracted publications in the dental field. MATERIAL AND METHODS:This review has been recorded in the PROSPERO database (CRD42017075634). Two independent reviewers performed an electronic search (Pubmed, Retraction Watch) for retracted articles in dental literature up to December 31, 2018. RESULTS:180 retracted papers were identified, the first published in 2001. Retractions increased by 47% in the last four-year period (2014-2018), when compared with 2009-2013 (94 and 64 retracted publications, respectively). Author misconduct was the most common reason for retraction (65.0%), followed by honest scientific errors (12.2%) and publisher-related issues (10.6%). The majority of retracted research was conducted in Asia (55.6%), with 49 papers written in India (27.2%). 552 researchers (89%) are listed as authors in only one retracted article, while 10 researchers (1.6%) are present in five or more retracted publications. Retracted articles were cited 530 times after retraction: the great majority of these citations (89.6%) did not consider the existence of the retraction notice and treated data from retracted articles as reliable. CONCLUSIONS:Retractions in dental literature have constantly increased in recent years, with the majority of them due to misconduct and fraud. The publication of unreliable research has many negative consequences. Studies derived from such material are designed on potentially incorrect bases, waste funds and resources, and most importantly, increase risk of incorrect treatment for patients. Citation of retracted papers represents a major issue for the scientific community.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The number of retracted scholarly articles has risen precipitously in recent years. Past surveys of the retracted literature each limited their scope to articles in PubMed, though many retracted articles are not indexed in PubMed. To understand the scope and characteristics of retracted articles across the full spectrum of scholarly disciplines, we surveyed 42 of the largest bibliographic databases for major scholarly fields and publisher websites to identify retracted articles. This study examines various trends among them. RESULTS:We found, 4,449 scholarly publications retracted from 1928-2011. Unlike Math, Physics, Engineering and Social Sciences, the percentages of retractions in Medicine, Life Science and Chemistry exceeded their percentages among Web of Science (WoS) records. Retractions due to alleged publishing misconduct (47%) outnumbered those due to alleged research misconduct (20%) or questionable data/interpretations (42%). This total exceeds 100% since multiple justifications were listed in some retraction notices. Retraction/WoS record ratios vary among author affiliation countries. Though widespread, only miniscule percentages of publications for individual years, countries, journals, or disciplines have been retracted. Fifteen prolific individuals accounted for more than half of all retractions due to alleged research misconduct, and strongly influenced all retraction characteristics. The number of articles retracted per year increased by a factor of 19.06 from 2001 to 2010, though excluding repeat offenders and adjusting for growth of the published literature decreases it to a factor of 11.36. CONCLUSIONS:Retracted articles occur across the full spectrum of scholarly disciplines. Most retracted articles do not contain flawed data; and the authors of most retracted articles have not been accused of research misconduct. Despite recent increases, the proportion of published scholarly literature affected by retraction remains very small. Articles and editorials discussing retractions, or their relation to research integrity, should always consider individual cases in these broad contexts. However, better mechanisms are still needed for raising researchers' awareness of the retracted literature in their field.
Project description:The number of retracted scientific articles has been increasing. Most retractions are associated with research misconduct, entailing financial costs to funding sources and damage to the careers of those committing misconduct. We sought to calculate the magnitude of these effects. Data relating to retracted manuscripts and authors found by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) to have committed misconduct were reviewed from public databases. Attributable costs of retracted manuscripts, and publication output and funding of researchers found to have committed misconduct were determined. We found that papers retracted due to misconduct accounted for approximately $58 million in direct funding by the NIH between 1992 and 2012, less than 1% of the NIH budget over this period. Each of these articles accounted for a mean of $392,582 in direct costs (SD $423,256). Researchers experienced a median 91.8% decrease in publication output and large declines in funding after censure by the ORI.
Project description:Our study aimed to evaluate the trends of post retraction citations of articles reporting a radiology-imaging diagnostic method and to find if a different pattern exists between manuscripts reporting an ultrasound method and those reporting other radiology diagnostic methods. This study reviewed retractions stored in PubMed on the subject of radiology-imaging diagnosis to identify the motivation, time from publication to retraction, and citations before and after retraction. The PubMed database was searched on June 2017 to retrieve the retracted articles, and the Scopus database was screened to identify the post-retraction citations. The full text was screened to see the type of post-retraction citation (positive/negative) and whether the cited article appears or not as retracted. One hundred and two retractions were identified, representing 3.5% of the retracted articles indexed by PubMed, out of which 54 were included in the analysis. Half of the articles were retracted in the first 24 months after publication, and the number of post retraction citations was higher than the number of citations before retraction in 30 out of 54 cases (US methods: 9/20, other diagnostic methods 21/34, P-value = 0.2312). The plagiarism was the most common reason for retraction (31%), followed by repetitive publication (26%), and errors in data/manuscript (24%). In less than 2% of cases, the retracted articles appear as retracted in the text or reference list, while the negative citation is observed in 4.84% among manuscripts reporting an US diagnostic method and 0.32% among manuscripts reporting a diagnostic method other than US (P-value = 0.0004). No significant differences were observed when post retraction weighted citation index (WCI, no. of citations weighted by citation window) was compared to WCI prior retraction (P-value = 0.5972). In light of the reported results, we enumerated some recommendations that could potentially minimize the referral to retracted studies as valid.
Project description:BACKGROUND:As the volume of scientific publications increases, the rate of retraction of published papers is also likely to increase. In the present study, we report the characteristics of retracted papers from clinical neurosurgery and allied clinical and basic science specialties. METHODS:Retracted papers were identified using two separate search strategies on PubMed. Attributes of the retracted papers were collected from PubMed and the Retraction Watch database. The reasons for retraction were analyzed. The factors that correlated with time to retraction were identified. Detailed citation analysis for the retracted papers was performed. The retraction rates for neurosurgery journals were computed. RESULTS:A total of 191 retractions were identified; 55% pertained to clinical neurosurgery. The most common reasons for retraction were plagiarism, duplication, and compromised peer review. The countries associated with the highest number of retractions were China, USA, and Japan. The full text of the retraction notice was not available for 11% of the papers. A median of 50% of all citations received by the papers occurred after retraction. The factors that correlated with a longer time to retraction included basic science category, the number of collaborating departments, and the H-index of the journal. The overall rate of retractions in neurosurgery journals was 0.037%. CONCLUSIONS:The retraction notice needs to be freely available on all search engines. Plagiarism checks and reference checks prior to publication of papers (to ensure no retracted papers have been cited) must be mandatory. Mandatory data deposition would help overcome issues with data and results.
Project description:This data aimed to audit the articles retracted from PubMed indexed dental journals from India. The PubMed indexed journals considered are Indian Journal of Dental research, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society for type of article, name of dental specialty, topic of individual dental specialties, causes for retraction of article and authorship trend of retracted articles using web-based search. Among PubMed indexed Indian dental journals,the number of retracted articles were as follows: Indian Journal of Dental research (4) followed by Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology (3), Contemporary Clinical Dentistry (3), Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry (2), Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (2) and Journal of Indian Prosthodontic Society (1). Out of 15 retracted articles from PubMed indexed Indian dental journals, case reports (7) form a major share followed by original articles(6) and review articles (2). Among the dental specialties of retracted articles, oral pathology and microbiology (5) constitute the major share followed by periodontics (4), pedodontics (4), oral medicine and radiology (1) and prosthodontics (1). Duplicate publication (7), plagiarism (5) and authorship dispute (3) are the causes for the retraction of article.
Project description:Retraction of flawed articles is an important mechanism for correction of the scientific literature. We recently reported that the majority of retractions are associated with scientific misconduct. In the current study, we focused on the subset of retractions for which no misconduct was identified, in order to identify the major causes of error. Analysis of the retraction notices for 423 articles indexed in PubMed revealed that the most common causes of error-related retraction are laboratory errors, analytical errors, and irreproducible results. The most common laboratory errors are contamination and problems relating to molecular biology procedures (e.g., sequencing, cloning). Retractions due to contamination were more common in the past, whereas analytical errors are now increasing in frequency. A number of publications that have not been retracted despite being shown to contain significant errors suggest that barriers to retraction may impede correction of the literature. In particular, few cases of retraction due to cell line contamination were found despite recognition that this problem has affected numerous publications. An understanding of the errors leading to retraction can guide practices to improve laboratory research and the integrity of the scientific literature. Perhaps most important, our analysis has identified major problems in the mechanisms used to rectify the scientific literature and suggests a need for action by the scientific community to adopt protocols that ensure the integrity of the publication process.
Project description:<b>Background and aim: </b>The volume of withdrawn publications in scholarly disciplines has grown steadily, but there is little awareness about this issue in rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to analyze the extent of retracted articles pertaining to rehabilitation.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>Retracted articles were searched in 4 different bibliographic databases from their inception to April 2020: PubMed, Web of Science, WikiLetters and Retraction Watch. Three independent reviewers assessed the relevance of the retrieved articles to the rehabilitation area.<br><br><b>Results: </b>Of 280 rehabilitation-related publications retracted between 1984 and 2020, 83 (29.6%) were published in 55 full open access journals and 197 (70.4%) were published in 147 traditional, non-open access or hybrid journals. In the last 10 years (2009-2018) there was a significant steady increase in both the total number of retractions (p?<?0.005; r?=?0.856; R<sup>2</sup> =?0.733) and retraction rate per year (p <?0.05; r?=?0.751; R<sup>2</sup> =?0.564). However, the number of retractions represents a very small percentage (~?0.1%) of the overall volume of publications in rehabilitation.<br><br><b>Conclusions: </b>Our data indicate that the number of retracted articles in rehabilitation is increasing, although the phenomenon is still limited. However, the true prevalence of misconduct may go unnoticed due to the large number of low-quality journals not indexed in the searched databases. Physiotherapists should be aware of the danger of misleading information originating from withdrawn publications.