Happy 12th birthday, Retraction Watch: And what a year it was

Every year in the days leading up to August 3 – our birthday – we find some time to review where we’ve been and where we’re going. We often start with the very first post we published on August 3, 2010

That post begins with a mention of Anil Potti – remember him? – and the first comment is from one Ed Yong. “This sounds excellent and I look forward to the posts,” Yong wrote in a characteristically encouraging note. Yong has of course gone on to become one of the world’s most eloquent and well-known science journalists, winning a Pulitzer last year for “lucid, definitive pieces on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

We did not win a Pulitzer in 2021, or 2022, or any other year, for that matter. Given our narrow focus and approach to stories, the likelihood of that moving forward seems to lie somewhere between zero and nil. That’s just fine. 

But on this, our 12th birthday, we find plenty to celebrate. The virtual party started early, when our co-founder Ivan Oransky published a World View column in Nature yesterday. “Retraction Watch has seen the retraction process change dramatically over the past decade,” Ivan wrote, reflecting on what we’ve learned over the last 12 years. “We’ve come to feel that the community is falling short.”

We’ll focus on the past 12 months, as is our wont. Some highlights, in no particular order:

Like any tween, we’re happy to be the center of attention for a moment or two. This year Vox called Retraction Watch “a bulwark of sound science since its founding in 2010.” And New Scientist said of us: “If you ever feel in need of some light entertainment alongside insights into the decline of research integrity and the scientific method, try perusing a website called Retraction Watch.”

And even though it means more journalistic competition, we couldn’t be happier that lots of reporters are chasing the kinds of stories we’ve been writing for a dozen years, whether prompted by our coverage or completely independently.

Thank you.

And thanks to you, our readers, supporters, tipsters, and critics. Ivan concluded his Nature World View with “We have never been short of material,” and that’s to all of your credit.

We close these birthday posts the same way every year: We always need more help. So we’re asking that you please consider a tax-deductible donation to support our work. You can make a one-time tax-deductible contribution by PayPal or by Square, or a monthly tax-deductible donation by Paypal. Or if you prefer to send a check, please make it out to The Center For Scientific Integrity and mail it to 121 W. 36th St., Suite 209, New York, NY 10018. Should you be in a position to donate securities, please contact ivan@retractionwatch.com for instructions.

Thank you in advance, and thank you for your ongoing support.

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at team@retractionwatch.com.

5 thoughts on “Happy 12th birthday, Retraction Watch: And what a year it was”

  1. Looking back at your first post, I wonder do you still think “Unlike newspapers, which strive for celerity as much as accuracy, science journals have the luxury of time.” ?

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