StATS: The fate of retracted articles (October 14, 2005)
A member of the Evidence Based Health email discussion group noted an interesting discussion about a recently retracted Cochrane review:
- "Is CybermedicineKilling You?"--The story of a Cochrane disaster. Eysenbach G, Kummervold PE. J Med Internet Res 2005: 7(2); e21. [Medline] [Full text]
It turns out that most journals do not have a clear written policy on publishing retractions.
- Retraction policies of high-impact biomedical journals. Atlas MC. J Med Libr Assoc 2004: 92(2); 242-50. [Medline] [Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]
This article also cited research done in 1990 that showed that 82 fully retracted articles were nevertheless cited a total of 733 additional times after the article was retracted. The number of invalid citations of retracted research was not concentrated in the lower quality journals either. A control group of research papers indicated retracted articles were indeed cited less often than unretracted articles, but only by 35%.
- The continued use of retracted, invalid scientific literature. Pfeifer MP, Snodgrass GL. Jama 1990: 263(10); 1420-3. [Medline]
I will add some more details about this when I get the chance.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. It was written by Steve Simon.
This page was written by Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at Category: Ethics in research.