“I’m writing regarding a recent query from an author about citation of a retracted article. The author is currently writing up a paper where the initial investigations were at least partially inspired by a paper that has recently been retracted. The author wants to recognise the influence of that work on the new study, but also recognises that – since the paper has been retracted – it would not be appropriate simply to cite it as though it were still a published paper. This isn’t a situation we’ve come across before, and I’m not sure how best to advise the author. Is it acceptable to discuss the findings of that paper provided the text clearly mentions that the paper has since been retracted? And how should this be cited in the reference list – citation to the original paper, to the retraction notice, or not at all? As experts in this area, any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.”
This handy guidance item also includes a recommended APA style for recording that the item has been retracted.
Retraction Watch readers may be familiar with our leaderboard of most-cited retracted papers, several of which have been cited hundreds of times since they were retracted. The problem is when such citations of retracted papers don’t indicate that the studies are retracted — which remains a problem.