Top 10 most highly cited retracted papers

Ever curious which retracted papers have been most cited by other scientists? Below, we present the list of the 10 most highly cited retractions. Readers will see some familiar entries, such as the infamous Lancet paper by Andrew Wakefield that originally suggested a link between autism and childhood vaccines. You’ll note that many papers — including the #1 most cited paper — received more citations after they were retracted, which research has shown is an ongoing problem. As always, we will update the list as more information comes to light.

Article Year of retraction Cites before retraction Cites after retraction Total cites (journals indexed by Web of Science)
1. Visfatin: A protein secreted by visceral fat that mimics the effects of insulin. SCIENCE, JAN 21 2005

Fukuhara A, Matsuda M, Nishizawa M, Segawa K, Tanaka M, Kishimoto K, Matsuki Y, Murakami M, Ichisaka T, Murakami H, Watanabe E, Takagi T, Akiyoshi M, Ohtsubo T, Kihara S, Yamashita S, Makishima M, Funahashi T, Yamanaka S, Hiramatsu R, Matsuzawa Y, Shimomura I.

 

   2007 276  942 1218
2. Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. LANCET, FEB 28 1998

Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, Malik M, Berelowitz M, Dhillon AP, Thomson MA, Harvey P, Valentine A, Davies SE, Walker-Smith JA.

 

2010 660 499 1159
3. An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus. PLANT JOURNAL, MAR 2003

Voinnet O, Rivas S, Mestre P, Baulcombe D.

 

2015 892 186 1078
4. Purification and ex vivo expansion of postnatal human marrow mesodermal progenitor cells. BLOOD,  NOV 1 2001

Reyes M, Lund T, Lenvik T, Aguiar D, Koodie L, Verfaillie CM.

 

2009 597 283 886
5. TREEFINDER: a powerful graphical analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics. BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, JUN 28 2004

Jobb G, von Haeseler A, Strimmer K.

 

 

2015 745 99 844
6. Viral pathogenicity determinants are suppressors of transgene silencing in Nicotiana benthamiana. EMBO JOURNAL, NOV 16 1998

Brigneti G, Voinnet O, Li WX, Ji LH, Ding SW, Baulcombe DC.

 

2015 770 31 801
7. Combination treatment of angiotensin-II receptor blocker and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor in non-diabetic renal disease (COOPERATE): a randomised controlled trial. LANCET, JAN 11 2003

Nakao N, Yoshimura A, Morita H, Takada M, Kayano T, Ideura T.

 

2009 582 127 709
8. Spontaneous human adult stem cell transformation. CANCER RESEARCH, APR 15 2005

Rubio D, Garcia-Castro J, Martín MC, de la Fuente R, Cigudosa JC, Lloyd AC, Bernad A.

2010 342 367 709
9. A pleiotropically acting microRNA, miR-31, inhibits breast cancer metastasis. CELL, JUN 12 2009

Valastyan S, Reinhardt F, Benaich N, Calogrias D, Szász AM, Wang ZC, Brock JE, Richardson AL, Weinberg RA.

 

2015 498 109 607
10. Structure of MsbA from E-coli: A homolog of the multidrug resistance ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters. SCIENCE SEP 7, 2001

Chang G, Roth CB

 

2006 439 117 556

Note: To obtain the number of citations before and after a retraction was issued, we had to rely on the “Citation index” portion of Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, which only adds up the number of citations from journals indexed by Thomson Scientific. Therefore, the total citation count is sometimes lower than what is reported elsewhere.