Authors react in a variety of ways to criticism of their work. Some stonewall, some grit their teeth but make corrections, and others thank their critics. But what about bribery? Continue reading Did the author of a now-retracted article bribe a critic to silence him?
We’ve known for a while that too many researchers cite retracted papers. But in what context do those citations occur? Are some authors citing a retracted paper as an example of problematic findings, or do most citing authors treat the findings as legitimate, failing to realize they are no longer valid? In a new paper in Scientometrics, Gali Halevi at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Judit Bar-Ilan at Bar-Ilan University in Israel examined citations to 15 papers retracted in 2014. Halevi told us why she was surprised to see how many authors don’t realize retracted papers are problematic, and what the publishing community can do to get the word out.
Retraction Watch: We’ve noticed that many papers are cited long after being retracted, without notifying readers the paper is problematic. You looked at citations to retracted papers and tracked how the citing authors described the paper – noting that its findings were problematic given the retraction (negative), or treating the findings as legitimate research that affirms the newer paper’s results (positive). The vast majority of post-retraction citations – 83% — were positive. Did that surprise you?
Sometime in the middle of 2015, Jennifer Byrne, professor of molecular oncology at the University of Sydney, began her journey from cancer researcher to a scientific literature sleuth, seeking out potentially problematic papers.
The first step was when she noticed several papers that contained a mistake in a DNA construct which, she believed, meant the papers were not testing the gene in question, associated with multiple cancer types. She started a writing campaign to the journal editors and researchers, with mixed success. But less than two years later, two of the five papers she flagged have already been retracted.
When asked why she spent time away from bench research to examine this issue, Byrne told us: Continue reading What turned a cancer researcher into a literature watchdog?
That brings Zaman’s total to 20, and ties him at the #18 spot on our leaderboard.
One of the more recently discovered retractions is for fake peer review, attributed to Zaman; one is for plagiarism, and two other papers were withdrawn while in press, for reasons that are unclear. (Note bene: These retractions are all at least one year old.)
First, the retraction notice for peer review issues, published in April 2015 for “Environmental Indicators and Energy Outcomes: Evidence from World Bank’s Classification Countries:”
Consider the case of a paper in Scientometrics that came to the attention earlier this year of Jeffrey Beall.
Beall, a research librarian and scourge of the predatory publishing world, had previously posted on his blog about his frustrations with the journal’s seeming indifference to the word theft. (He also helped bring about another plagiarism retraction we covered earlier this year.)
The article was titled “Educational reforms and internationalization of universities: evidence from major regions of the world,” and was written by a group from China and Pakistan.It has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by another paper in Scientometrics.