Reporting of Article Retractions in Bibliographic Databases and Online Journals (Brief Communications) (Report)
INTRODUCTION Retraction of journal papers containing falsified data plays a central role in “correcting” the scientific record. Of 395 articles retracted between 1982 and 2002, Nath et al. classified 62% as retracted as a result of mistake, 27% because of deliberate falsification or fabrication of data, and 11% without a clear reason for retraction . There is evidence that retracted papers continue to be cited without reference to the retraction: Budd et al. found that 235 retracted articles were cited 2,034 times after retraction notices. Examination of 299 of these citations showed that only 19 referred to the retraction . Similarly, Neale et al.’s analysis of 102 articles from PubMed showed that many of these papers were subsequently cited by other researchers who were unaware that the papers had been affected by scientific misconduct . Limitations in the processes for recording retractions have been noted elsewhere, and the responsibilities of authors, journal editors, and research institutions have been highlighted [4, 5].