ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyISSN 2206-2483


Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

A Multi-dimensional Investigation of the Effects of Publication Retraction on Scholarly Impact (Papers: Xin Shuai, et al | January 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on February 20, 2018


The findings of this work provide an interesting insight into the impacts of forced retractions. It is somewhat at odds with findings of other research listed in this library (or perhaps incomplete) in terms of impacts on coauthors and subsequent collaborators.

Over the past few decades, the rate of publication retractions has increased dramatically in academia. In this study, we investigate retractions from a quantitative perspective, aiming to answer two fundamental questions. One, how do retractions influence the scholarly impact of retracted papers, authors, and institutions? Two, does this influence propagate to the wider academic community through scholarly associations? Specifically, we analyzed a set of retracted articles indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS), and ran multiple experiments to compare changes in scholarly impact against a control set of non-retracted articles, authors, and institutions. We further applied the Granger Causality test to investigate whether different scientific topics are dynamically affected by retracted papers occurring within those topics. Our results show two key findings: first, the scholarly impact of retracted papers and authors significantly decreases after retraction, and the most severe impact decrease correlates to retractions based on proven purposeful scientific misconduct; second, this retraction penalty does not seem to spread through the broader scholarly social graph, but instead has a limited and localized effect. Our findings may provide useful insights for scholars or science committees to evaluate the scholarly value of papers, authors, or institutions related to retractions.

Shuai, X., Rollins, J., Moulinier, I., Custis, T., Edmunds, M., & Schilder, F. (2017).  A Multidimensional Investigation of the Effects of Publication Retraction on Scholarly Impact. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(9), 2225-2236. doi: 10.1002/asi.23826.
Publisher (Open Access):

Understanding the complexities of retractions (Amy Riegelman and Caitlin Bakker | January 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 19, 2018

Recommended resources

Reasons for retracted publications range from honest errors made by authors or publishers to research misconduct (e.g., falsified data, fraudulent peer review). A retraction represents a status change of a publication in the scholarly literature. Other examples of status changes include correction or erratum. A retraction could be initiated by many parties, including authors, institutions, or journal editors. The U.S. National Library of Medicine annually reports on the number of retracted publications indexed within PubMed. While the overall rate of retractions is still very small, retractions have increased considerably in the last decade from 97 retracted articles in 2006 to 664 in 2016.1

Quite simply an excellent resource that we urge institutions to include in you research integrity resource library and all ECRs to read/keep for ongoing reference.

As librarians help users navigate research platforms and maintain awareness of publication status changes, it is important to understand both the publishing and discovery landscape. Guidelines exist to help publishers and platforms identify retractions, but a recent study found inconsistent representations of retractions across various platforms.2 Another consideration is when scholars export citations or full-text articles out of various discovery platforms to personal libraries (e.g., Mendeley, DropBox).
Philip Davis studied retracted articles residing in personal libraries and nonpublisher websites. Among the findings, Mendeley libraries contained many retracted articles, and Davis concluded that this decentralized access without automated status updates “may come with the cost of promoting incorrect, invalid, or untrustworthy science.”3

RIEGELMAN, Amy; BAKKER, Caitlin. Understanding the complexities of retractions: Recommended resources.College & Research Libraries News, [S.l.], v. 79, n. 1, p. 38. ISSN 2150-6698. Available at: <>. doi:
Publisher (Open Access):

Historians Blast Polish Law on Nazi-Era Scholarship – Inside Higher Ed (Scott Jaschik | February 2018)0

Posted by Admin in on February 17, 2018

This isn't the first time in the last twelve months that politicians have used their position to dismiss scientific or historical evidence, but the parallels to the time period in question are very troubling.

The American Historical Association has condemned a new law in Poland that makes it a crime to write or speak “publicly and contrary to the facts, that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich.” Many prominent scholars have written over the years that while some Polish citizens and leaders fought the Nazis, others helped them. The AHA has already has expressed concern to the Polish government about Jan T. Gross, a professor of history at Princeton University, who was facing a libel investigation from Polish authorities for publishing historical accounts of Poles killing Jews during World War II. The new statement from the AHA quotes from a letter sent about the Gross case, which noted the movement to enact the legislation that has now become law.

Read the rest of this news  item

Authorship and citation manipulation in academic research (Papers: Eric A. Fong and Allen W. Wilhite | 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 12, 2018


A useful review of how and why researchers breach integrity in authorship and citation practices in order to increase the number and impact of papers with which they are associated.

Some scholars add authors to their research papers or grant proposals even when those individuals contribute nothing to the research effort. Some journal editors coerce authors to add citations that are not pertinent to their work and some authors pad their reference lists with superfluous citations. How prevalent are these types of manipulation, why do scholars stoop to such practices, and who among us is most susceptible to such ethical lapses? This study builds a framework around how intense competition for limited journal space and research funding can encourage manipulation and then uses that framework to develop hypotheses about who manipulates and why they do so. We test those hypotheses using data from over 12,000 responses to a series of surveys sent to more than 110,000 scholars from eighteen different disciplines spread across science, engineering, social science, business, and health care. We find widespread misattribution in publications and in research proposals with significant variation by academic rank, discipline, sex, publication history, co-authors, etc. Even though the majority of scholars disapprove of such tactics, many feel pressured to make such additions while others suggest that it is just the way the game is played. The findings suggest that certain changes in the review process might help to stem this ethical decline, but progress could be slow.

Fong EA, Wilhite AW (2017) Authorship and citation manipulation in academic research. PLoS ONE 12(12): e0187394.
Publisher (Open Access):


Page 1 of 13512345...102030...Last »