Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

Significant and serious scientific misconduct in a research article leads to its retraction. Citing such articles further perpetuates the erroneous work. An article unknowingly builds on false claims of a

retracted article, the new and unsuspicious article may compromise the integrity of the scientific literature. This type of implicit dependency on a retracted article can be highly risky and harmful. Thus the focus of the study is to identify the journals citing the retracted articles with emphasis on the examination of context of citations received by top seven highly cited retracted papers identified and listed by Retraction watch. In-depth analysis of the context of the top seven highly cited retracted articles was conducted. The retracted articles are cited and used by the authors in the positive context as the study found that 41.4% citations were affirmative. However it is worth to notice that the selected articles were also negatively cited in the literature 21.6%. Thus citing authors, who cite the retracted articles in the negative context, are putting forth the argument against retracted article. Thus the retraction watches needs to revisit the list while deeming and ranking the retracted articles as highly cited. The retraction watch blog should incorporate the context in which the retracted articles were cited by the authors. The study further found that the peer-reviewed and high impact factors journals are citing the retracted literature which highlights the implicit dependency on the retracted articles that can erode the scholarly landscape. A systematic screening method is required to prevent the citation of fraudulent or retracted papers by the journals.

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