With greater use of social media platforms for promotions of research articles, retracted articles tend to receive approximately the same attention. We systematically analyzed retracted articles from retractionwatch.com to look at the Altmetric Attention Scores (AAS) garnered over a period of time in order to highlight the role of social media and other platforms in advertising retracted articles and its effect on the spread of misinformation.
This open access analysis and paper, published in February 2022, points to the serious and enduring impact that retracted papers have had on the scientific understanding of COVID-19. Dodgy papers and the work of cheats/charlatans during a pandemic are completely unacceptable and should attract stronger penalties. Institutions, funding bodies, journals and learned societies must see themselves as having a key role in this regard. We have included links to six related items.
A total of 196 articles were found on the Retraction Watch website of which 189 were retracted papers and 7 were expression of concern (EOC). We then identified 175 articles after excluding those that did not have a DOI and 30 preprint articles were also excluded giving 145 articles. Further exclusion of articles with absent AAS and incomplete AAS resulted in a total of 22 articles.
Retracted articles receive significant online attention. Twitter and Mendeley were the most popular medium for publicizing retracted articles, therefore more focus should be given by journals and their Twitter accounts to discredit all their retracted articles. Preprints should be reconsidered as a whole by journals due to the huge risk they carry in disseminating false information.
Khan H, Gupta P, Zimba O, Gupta L. (2022) Bibliometric and Altmetric Analysis of Retracted Articles on COVID-19. J Korean Med Sci. 2022 Feb;37(6):e44. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e44
Publisher (Open Access): https://jkms.org/DOIx.php?id=10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e44