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Research Ethics MonthlyISSN 2206-2483

Research IntegrityCostly Collaborations: The Impact of Scientific Fraud on Co‐Authors’ Careers (Papers: Philippe Mongeona and Vincent Larivièreb | January 2015)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Costly Collaborations: The Impact of Scientific Fraud on Co‐Authors’ Careers (Papers: Philippe Mongeona and Vincent Larivièreb | January 2015)

Published/Released on February 28, 2015 | Posted by Admin on April 14, 2018 / , , , , , , ,
 


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Abstract

Fascinating, albeit technical and limited in scope to biomedicine, analysis of the impact on coauthors of forced retraction. #SpoilerAlert There is a serious and long-term impact on the careers of coauthors (even if apparently innocent of the infraction) when the infraction was due to fraud. There was a smaller but still significant impact on coauthors when the retraction was due to an error. There may be a positive impact of self-retraction, but the sample size is too small to be sure. Once the number of  retractions in other disciplines increases it would be interesting to replicate the work and reflect on any differences

Over the last few years, several major scientific fraud cases have shocked the scientific community. The number of retractions each year has also increased tremendously, especially in the biomedical field, and scientific misconduct accounts for approximately more than half of those retractions. It is assumed that co-authors of retracted papers are affected by their colleagues’ misconduct, and the aim of this study is to provide empirical evidence of the effect of retractions in biomedical research on co-authors’ research careers. Using data from the Web of Science (WOS), we measured the productivity, impact and collaboration of 1,123 co-authors of 293 retracted articles for a period of five years before and after the retraction. We found clear evidence that collaborators do suffer consequences of their colleagues’ misconduct, and that a retraction for fraud has higher consequences than a retraction for error. Our results also suggest that the extent of these consequences is closely linked with the ranking of co-authors on the retracted paper, being felt most strongly by first authors, followed by the last authors, while the impact is less important for middle authors.
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Keywords:
Scientific misconduct, retractions, collaboration, bibliometrics
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Mongeon, P. and Larivière, V. (2016), Costly Collaborations: The Impact of Scientific Fraud on Co‐Authors’ Careers. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67: 535-542. doi:10.1002/asi.23421
Wiley One Library: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/asi.23421



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