Article: The limitations of retraction notices and the heroic acts of authors who correct the scholarly record: an analysis of retractions of papers published from 1975-2019

Article published in Learned Publishing, 33(1), 64-68.

While researchers with retracted papers carry a permanent stain on their publishing records, understanding the causes and initiators of such retractions can shed a different light on the matter. This paper, based on a random sample of 2,046 retracted papers, which were published between 1975 and 2019, extracted from Retraction Watch and the websites of major publishers, shows that 53% of the retraction notices do not specify who initiated the retraction. The results carry three implications for scientific transparency: retraction notices need to be more informative; limitation sections ought to be a required and even an open section of all published articles; and finally, promoting ‘heroic acts’ in science can positively change the current publishing culture.

Author: Quan-Hoang Vuong

26 December 2019