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Top 5 Retracted Science Studies of 2016


Kamal Hossen

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Publish or perish: That's the mantra among academics. The pressure on researchers to publish new studies, however, may have turned this saying into "publish and perish," as more than 650 scientific papers were retracted in 2016, jeopardizing the integrity of scientists, and threatening the public's trust in their work.

Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications, according to a study published in 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled, well, "Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications." The authors sure didn't mince words. They found that only about 20 percent of retractions were due to honest error, whereas nearly 70 percent were due to scientific misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud, a tenfold increase since 1975.

And those fraud-related retractions were more likely to be in the most prominent journals, the study found, suggesting that the pressure to publish in so-called high-impact journals is tempting some scientists to cheat.

So, it's time now for our annual countdown of the more interesting journal article retractions of 2016, culled from Retraction Watch, a blog that has been reporting on scientific retractions since 2010.

 

 

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