Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 1447–1456 | Cite as

Plagiarism Allegations Account for Most Retractions in Major Latin American/Caribbean Databases

  • Renan Moritz V. R. AlmeidaEmail author
  • Karina de Albuquerque Rocha
  • Fernanda Catelani
  • Aldo José Fontes-Pereira
  • Sonia M. R. Vasconcelos
Original Paper


This study focuses on retraction notices from two major Latin American/Caribbean indexing databases: SciELO and LILACS. SciELO includes open scientific journals published mostly in Latin America/the Caribbean, from which 10 % are also indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge Journal of Citation Reports (JCR). LILACS has a similar geographical coverage and includes dissertations and conference/symposia proceedings, but it is limited to publications in the health sciences. A search for retraction notices was performed in these two databases using the keywords “retracted”, “retraction” “withdrawal”, “withdrawn”, “removed” and “redress”. Documents were manually checked to identify those that actually referred to retractions, which were then analyzed and categorized according to the reasons alleged in the notices. Dates of publication/retraction and time to retraction were also recorded. Searching procedures were performed between June and December 2014. Thirty-one retraction notices were identified, fifteen of which were in JCR-indexed journals. “Plagiarism” was alleged in six retractions of this group. Among the non-JCR journals, retraction reasons were alleged in fourteen cases, twelve of which were attributed to “plagiarism”. The proportion of retracted articles for the SciELO database was approximately 0.005 %. The reasons alleged in retraction notices may be used as signposts to inform discussions in Latin America on plagiarism and research integrity. At the international level, these results suggest that the correction of the literature is becoming global and is not limited to mainstream international publications.


Retractions Plagiarism Research integrity Research misconduct Correction of the literature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renan Moritz V. R. Almeida
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karina de Albuquerque Rocha
    • 2
  • Fernanda Catelani
    • 1
  • Aldo José Fontes-Pereira
    • 1
  • Sonia M. R. Vasconcelos
    • 2
  1. 1.Programa de Engenharia Biomédica/COPPEUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroCidade UniversitáriaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Bioquímica Médica Leopoldo de MeisIBqM/UFRJRio de JaneiroBrazil

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