What Do More Retractions In Scientific Publications Mean For Research?

(Image credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/Flickr)

What do more retractions say about the integrity of scientific research? (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/Flickr)

Retractions in scientific publications issued for research misconduct — that is instances of data manipulation or falsification — has become a hot topic in recent years.

It is especially relevant to Boston, which is home to some of the most prestigious research labs and scientific journals.

A review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of over 2,000 articles in bio-medical and life science research found that two-thirds of retractions were because of research misconduct — with the bulk of retractions coming in the last decade.


Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retraction Watch, a blog that monitors retractions in scientific journals.

Maria Zuber, vice president for research at MIT.


The New York Times: Science Journal Pulls 60 Papers In Peer-Review Fraud

  • “A scientific journal has retracted 60 papers linked to a researcher in Taiwan, accusing him of ‘perverting the peer-review process’ by creating fraudulent online accounts to judge the papers favorably and help get them published.”

The Guardian: Retractions Are Coming Thick And Fast: It’s Time For Publishers To Act

  • “Journal publishers must acknowledge the limitations of traditional peer review and embrace post-publication peer review.”

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