New study: Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications

A study released earlier this month reveals that articles retracted due to scientific misconduct has increased. It’s claimed that because some retraction announcements published by journals etc. are: “Incomplete, uninformative or misleading”, earlier estimates of retractions due to misconduct have been too low.

The authors examined 2.047 retracted articles within the field of biomedical and life-science research. They found that 21.3% of the retracted articles were attribuable to error. A whole 67.4% were attributable to some form of misconduct. Of the articles retracted due to misconduct it was found that 43.4% was fraud or expected fraud, 14.2% were attribuable to duplicate publication, and plagiarism accounted for 9.8%.

Ferric C. Fang, R. Grant Steen, and Arturo Casadevall. Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications. PNAS 2012 109 (42). 17028-17033; published ahead of print October 1, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1212247109

More info about the paper and a PDF version can be found through a Google Scholar search.

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