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ResourcesResearch IntegrityMost citations to retracted papers don’t note they’re problematic, authors say – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Most citations to retracted papers don’t note they’re problematic, authors say – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | April 2017)

Published/Released on April 05, 2017 | Posted by Admin on June 19, 2017 / , , , ,
 


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We’ve known for a while that too many researchers cite retracted papers. But in what context do those citations occur? Are some authors citing a retracted paper as an example of problematic findings, or do most citing authors treat the findings as legitimate, failing to realize they are no longer valid? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Gali Halevi at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Judit Bar-Ilan at Bar-Ilan University in Israel examined citations to 15 papers retracted in 2014. Halevi told us why she was surprised to see how many authors don’t realize retracted papers are problematic, and what the publishing community can do to get the word out.

Surprising interview about papers that are cited long after they have been retracted. Such practice isn’t just remarkable it raises concerns about the veracity of some of the knowledge that underpins practice. Definitely a new topic for professional development for HDR candidates and other ECRs. Also might be time to check your own list of references.

Retraction Watch: We’ve noticed that many papers are cited long after being retracted, without notifying readers the paper is problematic. You looked at citations to retracted papers and tracked how the citing authors described the paper – noting that its findings were problematic given the retraction (negative), or treating the findings as legitimate research that affirms the newer paper’s results (positive). The vast majority of post-retraction citations – 83% — were positive. Did that surprise you?
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Gali Halevi: Understanding the context of the citations was one of our main goals. We expected that although retracted articles were still cited these would be negative mentions. It did surprise us to discover that the vast majority of them treated retracted articles as legitimate citations despite of their faults. What’s worrying is that many of the retracted articles were due to faulty data, plagiarism and unethical behavior. Citing these articles as valid presents a danger to the progress and validity of science.
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