Rationale and Objective
Egypt currently holds a record for the most retractions in the continent of Africa according to the Retraction Watch database, and the 2nd highest of countries in the Middle East. The purpose of this study was to perform a specific analysis on retracted medical publications from Egyptian affiliations to outline or delineate specific problems and solutions.
Materials and Methods
A country having the dubious distinction of having the record for the most retractions in the continent of Africa and the second highest number of retractions in the Middle East is not somewhere you want to be. This paper suggests that the many retractions were not due to honest mistakes. It also doesn’t reflect well on the other honest Egyptian researchers in these fields.
68 retractions were identified that could be linked directly to a known Egyptian institution listed in the study methodology. Most retractions originated from the speciality of Obstetrics and Gynecology (n=22), followed by Anesthesia (n=7). The top 3 reasons for retraction included unreliable results, FFP level misconduct, and duplicate publication. The number of retractions significantly increased over the years, especially in 2022. When taking into account the number of medical publications per institution, the institute with the highest rate of retractions was Mansoura University, while the lowest rate was Cairo University.
The number of retracted medical Egyptian publications continues to increase over time, as more issues are uncovered in research coming from this region. Medical papers from this area have been the focus of investigations that have suggested that many results are statistically unlikely to have occurred. Authors must employ a higher ethical standard in their work, while institutions must be openly collaborative with investigations and enact penalties where needed to deter future misconduct. Future studies on retracted articles should employ a methodology that considers the institutions where the studies were conducted in order to obtain a better understanding of specific problems in certain countries or regions.