Privacy policy

The Retraction Watch Privacy Policy

Welcome to Retraction Watch (, a site dedicated to reporting on scientific retractions and related issues. Retraction Watch is a project of The Center For Scientific Integrity, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation with headquarters in New York. Retraction Watch (referred to below as “the website,” “we,” “us,” “our”) is the primary controller of your personal information provided to, or collected by or for, the website. By submitting information through Retraction Watch, you agree to the terms of this privacy policy and provide consent for use of your personal information as described by this Privacy Policy.

We recognize that privacy of your personal information is important, and we go to great lengths to protect our users. This document provides information on what types of personal and automatic information we receive, collect, store, and use; and on how we safeguard that information.

Information You Provide

The only personal information Retraction Watch collects about you is the information you provide voluntarily. To register for our email newsletters or comment on posts or pages at Retraction Watch, you must provide contact details (name and email address). Naturally, we also collect any comments or feedback you choose to provide through the use of the comments feature at the website.

We collect this information through third-party services. The Retraction Watch Daily email newsletter is managed through MailChimp and is governed by MailChimp’s privacy policy. Our email per post newsletter is managed through WPMU DEV and is governed by the privacy policy you are reading now. And our comments are managed through Jetpack and is governed by their privacy policy.

Information Collected Automatically

Like most websites, we automatically collect information about how you interact with the website, including:

  • Computer, device and connection information, such as IP address, browser type and version, and operating system
  • Usage data, such as the pages you visited or searched for on the site, comments you left, date and time stamps, and the region where your device is located


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

How We Use Your Data

Your data allow us to communicate with you by

  • sending out email alerts whenever a new post is published or when we have information to share with newsletter subscribers
  • responding to your comments and questions

Cookies and Advertising

We use cookies to store information, such as your personal preferences when you visit our site. You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs that provide this service. However, turning off cookies can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites.

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

We use Jetpack analytic tools to track anonymized use of our site to better understand our visitors and their interests. Here is Jetpack’s privacy policy.

We do not carry advertising on Retraction Watch at this time, but we have occasional ads on The Retraction Watch Daily. Those are text ads, and any information that is gathered by clicking on any links in said ads would be governed by the MailChimp privacy policy.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Sharing Your Information

We will never sell or give away your personal information to third parties. That includes email and IP addresses of anonymous commenters, whom we treat as confidential sources under New York State’s Shield Law. We do share aggregated de-identified information about site traffic with selected partners and funders.


Retraction Watch is a general audience site, but it not intended for children under the age of 13. We do not intentionally gather information about users or visitors who are under the age of 13, and no one under age 13 is allowed to provide any personal information on the website. If we learn that we have collected personal data from a child under the age of 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that a child under the age of 13 may have provided us personal data, please contact us at

Your Communications Preferences

If you registered for our email newsletters, you will automatically receive an email any time that new content is posted and/or once per day, Tuesday through Saturday, depending on which newsletters you have chosen. See the “information you provide” section above for more information about how those newsletters are managed.

We reserve the right to notify you of changes or updates to the site whenever necessary.

You may unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe links on our email newsletters, or by emailing

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. We will also consider requests that we erase any personal data we hold about you, but will only grant such requests if there are extenuating circumstances or if doing so would not interfere with our administrative, journalistic, legal, or security obligations.

Where we send your data

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Data Security

Retraction Watch uses reasonable measures to safeguard personal information in its possession against loss, theft, unauthorized use, disclosure, or modification. However, because no data transmission over the Internet is completely secure, and no system of physical or electronic security is impenetrable, you agree by using Retraction Watch to assume all risk in connection with the information sent to us or collected by us when you use the website. 

Links to Other Websites

The website contains links to other websites or services. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites or services, and you should review the privacy policy of each such website or service to make sure that you are comfortable with it before providing any personal data. For example, charitable donations to Retraction Watch are processed through two third-party payment processors, PayPal, whose privacy policy is here; and CrowdRise, whose privacy policy is here. We do not receive any of the credit card information you provide to our third-party payment processor, and all such information is subject to their privacy policies.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, comments, or requests regarding this privacy policy or our processing of your information, please email

Last updated May 24, 2018