Excerpt: There’s a new paper about retractions, and it’s chock-full of the kind of data that we love to geek out on. Enjoy.
The new paper, “A Multi-dimensional Investigation of the Effects of Publication Retraction on Scholarly Impact,” appears on the preprint server arXiv — meaning it has yet to be peer-reviewed — and is co-authored by Xin Shuai and five other employees of Thomson Reuters. Highlights from their dataset:
* Medical or biological related research fields tend to have the highest retraction rates.
* Retracted papers are cited more often – a median of eight times – than the average article (a median of once).
* The median time from publication to retraction is two years.
* About half of all retractions are due to misconduct, including plagiarism.
* Retracted papers, and their authors, are cited less often after retraction.
* Institutions involved in retractions tend to be cited more often, but “the reputation of those institutions that sponsored the scholars who were accused of scientific misconduct did not seem to be tarnished at all.”
* Authors of papers retracted for fabrication or falsification see the largest dip in citations, with the “decrease is even more pronounced when the retraction cases are exposed to the public by media.”
* [R]etraction rate in one topic hardly affects its future popularity.
8 March 2016 – Ready to geek out on retraction data? Read this new preprint
About Retraction Watch
We launched Retraction Watch in August 2010, and although we didn’t predict this, it’s been a struggle to even keep up with retractions as they happen. While we occasionally dip into history in our “Best Of” series, realistically we don’t want to fall even further behind. If we ever have the resources to grow the site, this will be one of our priorities.