Retraction Watch Database User Guide Appendix B: Reasons

 

Reason Description
Author Unresponsive Author(s) lack of communication after prior contact by Journal, Publisher or other original Authors
Breach of Policy by Author A violation of the Journal, Publisher or Institutional accepted practices by the author
Breach of Policy by Third Party A violation of the Journal, Publisher or Institutional accepted practices by a person or company/institution not the authors
Cites Prior Retracted Work A retracted item is used in citations or referencing
Civil Proceedings Non-criminal litigation arising from the publication of the original article or the related notice(s)
Complaints about Author Allegations made strictly about the author without respect to the original article
Complaints about Company/Institution Allegations made strictly about the author’s affiliation(s) without respect to the original article
Complaints about Third Party Allegations made strictly about those not the author or the author’s affiliation(s) without respect to the original article
Concerns/Issues About Authorship Any question, controversy or dispute over the rightful claim to authorship, excluding forged authorship
Concerns/Issues About Data Any question, controversy or dispute over the validity of the data
Concerns/Issues About Image Any question, controversy or dispute over the validity of the image
Concerns/Issues about Referencing/Attributions Any question, controversy or dispute over whether ideas, analyses, text or data are properly credited to the originator
Concerns/Issues About Results Any question, controversy or dispute over the validity of the results
Concerns/Issues about Third Party Involvement Any question, controversy or dispute over the rightful claim to authorship, excluding forged authorship
Conflict of Interest Authors having affiliations with companies, associations, or institutions that may serve to influence their belief about their findings
Contamination of Cell Lines/Tissues Impurities found within cell lines or tissues
Contamination of Materials (General) Impurities found within compounds or solutions used in experiments
Contamination of Reagents Impurities found within compounds or solutions used to drive experimental outcomes
Copyright Claims Dispute concerning right of ownership of a publication
Criminal Proceedings Court actions that may result in incarceration or fines arising from the publication of the original article or the related notice(s)
Date of Retraction/Other Unknown A lack of publishing date given on the notice – or the date on the notice is not representative of the actual notice date.  Commonly found when Publishers overwrite the original article’s HTML page with the retraction notice, without changing the publication date to reflect such.
Doing the Right Thing An attribution made by co-founders of Retraction Watch indicating admirable behavior by one of the involved parties
Duplication of Article Also known as “self-plagiarism”.  Used when an entire published item, or undefined sections of it, written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Duplication of Data Also known as “self-plagiarism”.  Used when the all or part of the data from an item written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Duplication of Image Also known as “self-plagiarism”.  Used when an image from an item written by one or all authors of the original article is repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Duplication of Text Also known as “self-plagiarism”.  Used when sections of text from an item written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Error by Journal/Publisher A mistake attributed to a Journal Editor or Publisher
Error by Third Party A mistake attributed to a person or other, who is not an author or representative of the Journal or Publisher
Error in Analyses A mistake made in the evaluation of the data or calculations
Error in Cell Lines/Tissues A mistake made in the identification of cell lines or tissues, or the choice of an incorrect cell line or tissue
Error in Data A mistake made in the data, either in data entry, gathering or identification
Error in Image A mistake made in the preparation or printing of an image
Error in Materials (General) A mistake made in the choice of materials in the performance of experiments (eg., reagents, mixing bowls, etc)
Error in Methods A mistake made in the experimental protocol, either in following the wrong protocol, or in erring during the performance of the protocol
Error in Results and/or Conclusions A mistake made in determining the results or establishing conclusions from an experiment or analysis
Error in Text A mistake made in the written portion of the item
Ethical Violations by Author When an author performs an action contrary to accepted standards of behavior.  Generally used only when stated as such in the notice and no other specific reason (e.g., duplication of image) is given.  
Ethical Violations by Third Party When any person not an author performs an action contrary to accepted standards of behavior.  Generally used only when stated as such in the notice and no other specific reason (e.g., duplication of image) is given.  
Euphemisms for Duplication The notice does not clearly state that the authors reused ideas, text, or images from one of their previously published items without suitable citation
Euphemisms for Misconduct The notice does not clearly state that the reason for the notice is due to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism by one or all the authors, despite an institutional report stating such.
Euphemisms for Plagiarism The notice does not clearly state that the authors reused ideas, text, or images, without suitable citation, from items published by those not the authors
Fake Peer Review The peer review was intentionally not performed in accordance with the journal’s guidelines or ethical standards
Falsification/Fabrication of Data Intentional changes to data so that it is not representative of the actual finding
Falsification/Fabrication of Image Intentional changes to an image so that it is not representative of the actual data
Falsification/Fabrication of Results Intentional changes to results so that it is not representative of the actual finding
Forged Authorship The fraudulent use of an author name in submitting a manuscript for publication
Hoax Paper Paper intentionally drafted with fraudulent data or information with the specific intent of testing a journal’s or publisher’s manuscript acceptance policies
Informed/Patient Consent – None/Withdrawn When the full risks and benefits from being in an experiment are not provided to and accepted by the participant, or the participant chooses to later recant their approval
Investigation by Company/Institution An evaluation of allegations by the affiliations of one or all of the authors
Investigation by Journal/Publisher An evaluation of allegations by the Journal or Publisher
Investigation by ORI An evaluation of allegations by the United State Office of Research Integrity
Investigation by Third Party An evaluation of allegations by a person, company or institution not the Authors, Journal, Publisher or ORI
Lack of Approval from Author Failure to obtain agreement from original author(s)
Lack of Approval from Company/Institution Failure to obtain agreement from original author(s)
Lack of Approval from Third Party Failure to obtain agreement from original author(s)
Lack Of Balance/Bias Issues Failure to maintain objectivity in the presentation or analysis of information
Lack of IRB/IACUC Approval Failure to obtain consent from the institutional ethical review board overseeing human or animal experimentation
Legal Reasons/Legal Threats Actions taken to avoid or foster litigation
Manipulation of Images The changing of the presentation of an image by reversal, rotation or similar action
Manipulation of Results The changing of the presentation of results which may lead to conclusions not otherwise warranted
Miscommunication by Author Error in messaging from or to author
Miscommunication by Company/Institution Error in messaging from or to authors’ affiliations
Miscommunication by Journal/Publisher Error in messaging from or to Journal or Publisher
Miscommunication by Third Party Error in messaging from or to any party not the author, affiliations,  journal of publisher
Misconduct – Official Investigation/Finding Finding of misconduct after investigation by incorporated company, institution of governmental agency
Misconduct by Author Statement Journal, Publisher, Company, Institution, Governmental Agency, or Author that author committed misconduct
Misconduct by Company/Institution Statement Journal, Publisher, Company, Institution, or Governmental Agency that Company/Institution committed misconduct
Misconduct by Third Party Statement Journal, Publisher, Company, Institution, or Governmental Agency that a third party committed misconduct
No Further Action Generally applicable to Expressions of Concern – Statement by Editor or Publisher that
Nonpayment of Fees/Refusal to Pay Lack of payment of full amount due for services rendered or for rights of access
Notice – Lack of No Notice was published by the Journal or Publisher, and the article is removed from the publishing platform.  
Notice – Limited or No Information A notice provides minimal information as to the cause of the notice, or the original item is watermaked as retracted or corrected without explanation
Notice – Unable to Access via current resources The notice is paywalled, only in print, or in some form unavailable for inspection at this time.
Objections by Author(s) A complaint by any of the original authors or refusal to agree actions taken by the Journal or Publisher
Objections by Company/Institution A complaint by any of the original authors’ affiliation(s) or refusal by same to agree actions taken by the Journal or Publisher
Objections by Third Party A complaint by any person, company or institution not of the original authors, or refusal by same to agree actions taken by the Journal or Publisher
Plagiarism of Article Used when an entire published item, or undefined sections of it, and not written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Plagiarism of Data Used when the all or part of the data from an item not written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Plagiarism of Image Used when an image from an item not written by one or all authors of the original article is repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Plagiarism of Text Used when sections of text from an item not written by one or all authors of the original article, are repeated in the original article without appropriate citation.  
Publishing Ban A Journal or Publisher states that no manuscripts will be acceptance from one or all the authors of the original article.  It can be for a limited time, or indefinitely.
Results Not Reproducible Experiments conducted, using the same materials and methods, that fail to replicate the finding of the original article
Retract and Replace The permanent change of an item to a non-citable status, with a subsequent republication by the same journal after substantial changes to the item
Sabotage of Materials An intentional action to surreptitiously change or contaminate experimental ingredients in order to artificially change the experimental outcome
Sabotage of Methods An intentional action to surreptitiously change or contaminate experimental instruments or tools in order to artificially change the experimental outcome
Salami Slicing The publication of several articles by using the same (small) dataset, but by breaking it into sections, with the intent of exploiting a limited data set for the production of several published works  This does not apply to large multi-group studies such as the Framingham Heart Study.
Temporary Removal An original article is removed from the Journal’s publishing platform for an undefined period of time, after which, if returned to the publishing platform, it appears with minimal or no substantial changes
Unreliable Data The accuracy or validity of the data is questionable
Unreliable Image The accuracy or validity of the image is questionable
Unreliable Results The accuracy or validity of the results is questionable
Updated to Correction A prior notice has been changed to the status of a Correction
Updated to Retraction A prior notice has been changed to the status of a Retraction
Upgrade/Update of Prior Notice Either a change to or affirmation of a prior notice
Withdrawal The original article is removed from access on the Journal’s publishing platform.