Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 127–137

The (lack of) Impact of Retraction on Citation Networks

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-014-9532-1

Cite this article as:
Madlock-Brown, C.R. & Eichmann, D. Sci Eng Ethics (2015) 21: 127. doi:10.1007/s11948-014-9532-1


Article retraction in research is rising, yet retracted articles continue to be cited at a disturbing rate. This paper presents an analysis of recent retraction patterns, with a unique emphasis on the role author self-cites play, to assist the scientific community in creating counter-strategies. This was accomplished by examining the following: (1) A categorization of retracted articles more complete than previously published work. (2) The relationship between citation counts and after-retraction self-cites from the authors of the work, and the distribution of self-cites across our retraction categories. (3) The distribution of retractions written by both the author and the editor across our retraction categories. (4) The trends for seven of our nine defined retraction categories over a 6-year period. (5) The average journal impact factor by category, and the relationship between impact factor, author self-cites, and overall citations. Our findings indicate new reasons for retractions have emerged in recent years, and more editors are penning retractions. The rates of increase for retraction varies by category, and there is statistically significant difference of average impact factor between many categories. 18 % of authors self-cite retracted work post retraction with only 10 % of those authors also citing the retraction notice. Further, there is a positive correlation between self-cites and after retraction citations.


Scientific misconduct Publication ethics Citation networks Retractions 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health InformaticsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.School of Library and Information ScienceUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Clinical and Translational ScienceUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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