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ResourcesResearch IntegrityWant to tell if a paper has been retracted? Good luck – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Want to tell if a paper has been retracted? Good luck – Retraction Watch (Alison McCook | March 2018)

Published/Released on March 07, 2018 | Posted by Admin on May 14, 2018 / , , , , , , , ,

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Nowadays, there are many ways to access a paper — on the publisher’s website, on MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and other outlets. So when the publisher retracts a paper, do these outlets consistently mark it as such? And if they don’t, what’s the impact? Researchers Caitlin Bakker and Amy Riegelman at the University of Minnesota surveyed more than one hundred retractions in mental health research to try to get at some answers, and published their findings in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. We spoke to Bakker about the potential harm to patients when clinicians don’t receive consistent notifications about retracted data.

This Retraction Watch interview and the paper it links to are a handy discussion on a common question we are often asked.

Retraction Watch: You note: “Of the 144 articles studied, only 10 were represented as being retracted across all resources through which they were available. There was no platform that consistently met or failed to meet all of [the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)’s] guidelines.” Can you say more about these findings, and the challenges they may pose?
Caitlin Bakker: An individual could choose a number of different platforms through which to access an article, depending on their discipline, institutional affiliations and associated subscriptions, and personal preferences. None of the platforms we studied met all of COPE’s guidelines for the articles within our sample. Platforms failing to identify retractions is problematic considering expectations of scholars and organizations like Cochrane, which is considered by many to be the gold standard in systematic reviews and other knowledge synthesis activities. Specifically C48 in Handbook 6.4.10 declares it mandatory for Cochrane review authors to “[e]xamine relevant retraction statements and errata for information” and specifically to potentially exclude flawed studies. They advise: “Care should be taken to ensure that this information is retrieved in all database searches by downloading the appropriate fields, together with the citation data.” Our research reveals that this advice could be problematic because unfortunately databases do not always identify retracted articles in the appropriate fields.

Read the rest of this interviiew

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