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The Continued Use of Retracted, Invalid Scientific Literature

The Continued Use of Retracted, Invalid Scientific Literature Little is known about the ultimate scientific fate of retracted, invalid literature. We identified 82 completely retracted articles by electronic and manual methods and measured their subsequent use in the scientific literature by performing citation analysis. After retraction, these studies were cited, for support of scientific concepts, 733 times. Comparison with a control group revealed that retraction reduces subsequent citation by approximately 35%. There was no evidence that small, obscure journals, non-US journals, or non-US authors were disproportionately responsible for these citations. Although, after retraction, US authors accounted for a smaller percentage of citations, they continued to be the single greatest source. Several possible reasons why invalid information continues to be used were identified. These included a dearth of available information on retracted works; inconsistency in retraction format, terminology, and indexing; and an apparent lack of sufficient attention to manuscripts by some authors and editors. (JAMA. 1990;263:1420-1423) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

The Continued Use of Retracted, Invalid Scientific Literature

JAMA , Volume 263 (10) – Mar 9, 1990

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1990 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1990.03440100140020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Little is known about the ultimate scientific fate of retracted, invalid literature. We identified 82 completely retracted articles by electronic and manual methods and measured their subsequent use in the scientific literature by performing citation analysis. After retraction, these studies were cited, for support of scientific concepts, 733 times. Comparison with a control group revealed that retraction reduces subsequent citation by approximately 35%. There was no evidence that small, obscure journals, non-US journals, or non-US authors were disproportionately responsible for these citations. Although, after retraction, US authors accounted for a smaller percentage of citations, they continued to be the single greatest source. Several possible reasons why invalid information continues to be used were identified. These included a dearth of available information on retracted works; inconsistency in retraction format, terminology, and indexing; and an apparent lack of sufficient attention to manuscripts by some authors and editors. (JAMA. 1990;263:1420-1423)

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 9, 1990

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