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Scientometrics

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 2009–2019 | Cite as

Retractions in Science

  • K. Brad Wray
  • Line Edslev Andersen
Article

Abstract

Retractions are rare in science, but there is growing concern about the impact retracted papers have. We present data on the retractions in the journal Science, between 1983 and 2017. Each year, approximately 2.6 papers are retracted; that is about 0.34% of the papers published in the journal. 30% of the retracted papers are retracted within 1 year of publication. Some papers are retracted almost 12 years after publication. 51% of the retracted papers are retracted due to honest mistakes. Smaller research teams of 2–4 scientists are responsible for a disproportionately larger share of the retracted papers especially when it comes to retractions due to honest mistakes. In 60% of the cases all authors sign the retraction notice.

Keywords

Retraction Scientific publication Science Authorship Collaboration in science Misconduct Honest errors 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen for feedback on an earlier draft. We would also like to thank our audience in Gent, when KBW presented an earlier version of the paper at the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice conference, in July 2018. We also thank the referees for Scientometrics for their critical feedback. Finally, we thank Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond (AUFF) for a Starting Grant awarded to KBW. This grant, AUFF-E-2017-FLS-7-3, supports LEA.

Supplementary material

11192_2018_2922_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (125 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 125 kb)

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science StudiesAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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