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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|5. TREEFINDER: a powerful graphical analysis environment for molecular phylogenetics. BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, JUN 28 2004
Jobb G, von Haeseler A, Strimmer K.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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
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.