Lack of Improvement in Scientific Integrity: An Analysis of WoS Retractions by Chinese Researchers (1997–2016)
- 460 Downloads
This study investigated the status quo of article retractions by Chinese researchers. The bibliometric information of 834 retractions from the Web of Science SCI-expanded database were downloaded and analysed. The results showed that the number of retractions increased in the past two decades, and misconduct such as plagiarism, fraud, and faked peer review explained approximately three quarters of the retractions. Meanwhile, a large proportion of the retractions seemed typical of deliberate fraud, which might be evidenced by retractions authored by repeat offenders of data fraud and those due to faked peer review. In addition, a majority of Chinese fraudulent authors seemed to aim their articles which contained a possible misconduct at low-impact journals, regardless of the types of misconduct. The system of scientific evaluation, the “publish or perish” pressure Chinese researchers are facing, and the relatively low costs of scientific integrity may be responsible for the scientific integrity. We suggested more integrity education and severe sanctions for the policy-makers, as well as change in the peer review system and transparent retraction notices for journal administrators.
KeywordsScientific integrity Article retractions Misconduct Fraud Chinese researchers
- Almeida, R. M. V. R., de Albuquerque Rocha, K., Catelani, F., Fontes-Pereira, A. J., & Vasconcelos, S. M. R. (2016). Plagiarism allegations account for most retractions in major Latin American/Caribbean databases. Science and Engineering Ethics, 22(5), 1447–1456. doi: 10.1007/s11948-015-9714-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Barbash, F. (2015). Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal, The Washingtong Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/27/fabricated-peer-reviews-prompt-scientific-journal-to-retract-43-papers-systematic-scheme-may-affect-other-journals/?utm_term=.f921b1a5f61a.
- Garfield, E. (1999). Journal impact factor: A brief review. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 161(8), 979–980.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, (2016). Rules of Prevention and Punishment of Academic Misconduct at Higher Institution. http://www.moe.edu.cn/srcsite/A02/s5911/moe_621/201607/t20160718_272156.html.
- Nath, S. B., Marcus, S. C., & Druss, B. G. (2006). Retractions in the research literature: Misconduct or mistakes? The Medical Journal of Australia, 185(3), 152–154.Google Scholar