Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–11

Exploring Why and How Journal Editors Retract Articles: Findings From a Qualitative Study

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-011-9292-0

Cite this article as:
Williams, P. & Wager, E. Sci Eng Ethics (2013) 19: 1. doi:10.1007/s11948-011-9292-0


Editors have a responsibility to retract seriously flawed articles from their journals. However, there appears to be little consistency in journals’ policies or procedures for this. In a qualitative study, we therefore interviewed editors of science journals using semi-structured interviews to investigate their experience of retracting articles. We identified potential barriers to retraction, difficulties in the process and also sources of support and encouragement. Our findings have been used as the basis for guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics.


RetractionsReasonsMedical research

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Princes RisboroughUK