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

Resource Library

Research Ethics MonthlyISSN 2206-2483

Research integrity

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):

A Common Standard for Conflict of Interest Disclosure (Guidance: Center for Science in the Public Interest | 2008)0

Posted by Admin in on February 18, 2018

Merrill Goozner, Arthur Caplan, Jonathan Moreno, Barnett S. Kramer, Thomas F. Babor, Wendy Cowles Husser

The reporting of conflicts of interest in science and medicine in the scientific literature1 has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Failures to disclose conflicts of interest have become front page news, and a major embarrassment to publishers, editors, and professional societies.2

These failures to disclose relevant relationships have stemmed in part from a lack of uniform definitions for conflicts of interest and confusion about what needs to be reported. Academic investigators operate under varying institutional rules, and many are unable to accurately describe their institutions’ policies.3 Science and biomedical journals have a range of disclosure policies with differences in definitions of conflicts of interest, reporting requirements, and promises to publish.4

In the face of heightened scrutiny, several publishers have moved in the past several years to implement stricter conflict-of-interest disclosure and publication rules. 5 6 7 Organizations are paying greater attention to conflict-of-interest disclosure in the context of redefining the rules of engagement between academic investigators and private industry.8 The need for common standards in defining conflicts of interest has never been greater.

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Obsessed with getting cited? You may have “Publiphilia Impactfactorius” – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | October 2017)0

Posted by Admin in on February 17, 2018

As a scientist, are you always focused on improving your metrics by such means as getting papers into prestigious journals? Do your funders and institutions add to that pressure to get ahead? If so, you may be at risk of a new psychiatric condition known as “Publiphilia Impactfactorius” — or, simply, PI, described in a PeerJ preprint. We talked to first author Joeri Tijdink at VU Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam about this tongue-in-cheek take-down of the scientific condition, and whether there is any cure for the affliction.

Mental illness is no laughing matter but we loved the name of this condition so decided to include this Retraction Watch item in the Resource Library.

Retraction Watch: You describe several new personality traits and clusters. Tell us more about this.

Joeri Tijdink: We have studied personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy, self-esteem, Machiavellianism) in 535 biomedical scientists and associated these traits with research misbehaviors. These results are published in a serious publication here.

From a psychiatric perspective (I am a psychiatrist), I felt that from my observations of the research culture there are several personality subtypes of scientists that may show (pseudo)psychiatric symptoms and traits. However, I was unable to classify these individuals in a formal psychiatric classification. Therefore, we have conducted a cluster analysis and found 3 different personality clusters with specific features. We named them after their personality profile and features; the sneaky grandiose, the perfectionists and the ideal sons-in-law.


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