Monday, December 17, 2012

Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012
Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications. Fang FC, Steen RG, Casadevall A.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Abstract

A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ∼10-fold since 1975. Retractions exhibit distinctive temporal and geographic patterns that may reveal underlying causes.

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