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The retraction penalty: evidence from the Web of Science.

Lu SF, Jin GZ, Uzzi B, Jones B - Sci Rep (2013)

Bottom Line: Scientific articles are retracted at increasing rates, with the highest rates among top journals.Importantly, however, citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error.Our analyses and results span the range of scientific disciplines.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.

ABSTRACT
Scientific articles are retracted at increasing rates, with the highest rates among top journals. Here we show that a single retraction triggers citation losses through an author's prior body of work. Compared to closely-matched control papers, citations fall by an average of 6.9% per year for each prior publication. These chain reactions are sustained on authors' papers (a) published up to a decade earlier and (b) connected within the authors' own citation network by up to 4 degrees of separation from the retracted publication. Importantly, however, citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error. Our analyses and results span the range of scientific disciplines.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Effect on author's prior body of work by distance measures from retracted paper.Considering the effect of non-self-reported retractions, citation losses are sustained on the authors' prior work published up to 10 years before the retraction event (a), with negative but statistically insignificant losses for still earlier work. Citation losses on the authors' prior work are also sustained up to 4 degrees of separation away from the retracted paper in the author's citation network (b), with negative but statistically insignificant effects on work at higher degree of separation. Red lines indicate mean citation losses, and dashed lines present 95% confidence intervals. After many years, publications tend to have few annual citations, limiting the capacity for change vis-à-vis matched control papers and resulting in noisier estimates at high distance.
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f4: Effect on author's prior body of work by distance measures from retracted paper.Considering the effect of non-self-reported retractions, citation losses are sustained on the authors' prior work published up to 10 years before the retraction event (a), with negative but statistically insignificant losses for still earlier work. Citation losses on the authors' prior work are also sustained up to 4 degrees of separation away from the retracted paper in the author's citation network (b), with negative but statistically insignificant effects on work at higher degree of separation. Red lines indicate mean citation losses, and dashed lines present 95% confidence intervals. After many years, publications tend to have few annual citations, limiting the capacity for change vis-à-vis matched control papers and resulting in noisier estimates at high distance.

Mentions: Focusing on non-self-reported retractions, Figure 4 examines the spillover effect on prior work, analyzing the distance between the retracted paper and the prior publications. Retraction spillovers remain negative and statistically significant for prior work published up to a decade earlier (Fig. 4a). For example, prior work published 6–10 years earlier sees citations fall 7.2% (p < .01) on average. The citation loss is similar in magnitude but not statistically significant for still older work. Examining citation losses by degrees of separation from the retracted paper (Fig. 4b), negative citation spillovers are found for papers up to four degrees of separation in the citation network (looking backwards in time). Prior publications three or four degrees of separation from the retracted paper experience citation declines of 14.3% (p < .01). The citation loss is similar in magnitude but not statistically significant for prior publications at five or more degrees of separation. Note that ongoing citations to older work are already low, which makes further declines difficult to estimate.


The retraction penalty: evidence from the Web of Science.

Lu SF, Jin GZ, Uzzi B, Jones B - Sci Rep (2013)

Effect on author's prior body of work by distance measures from retracted paper.Considering the effect of non-self-reported retractions, citation losses are sustained on the authors' prior work published up to 10 years before the retraction event (a), with negative but statistically insignificant losses for still earlier work. Citation losses on the authors' prior work are also sustained up to 4 degrees of separation away from the retracted paper in the author's citation network (b), with negative but statistically insignificant effects on work at higher degree of separation. Red lines indicate mean citation losses, and dashed lines present 95% confidence intervals. After many years, publications tend to have few annual citations, limiting the capacity for change vis-à-vis matched control papers and resulting in noisier estimates at high distance.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818648&req=5

f4: Effect on author's prior body of work by distance measures from retracted paper.Considering the effect of non-self-reported retractions, citation losses are sustained on the authors' prior work published up to 10 years before the retraction event (a), with negative but statistically insignificant losses for still earlier work. Citation losses on the authors' prior work are also sustained up to 4 degrees of separation away from the retracted paper in the author's citation network (b), with negative but statistically insignificant effects on work at higher degree of separation. Red lines indicate mean citation losses, and dashed lines present 95% confidence intervals. After many years, publications tend to have few annual citations, limiting the capacity for change vis-à-vis matched control papers and resulting in noisier estimates at high distance.
Mentions: Focusing on non-self-reported retractions, Figure 4 examines the spillover effect on prior work, analyzing the distance between the retracted paper and the prior publications. Retraction spillovers remain negative and statistically significant for prior work published up to a decade earlier (Fig. 4a). For example, prior work published 6–10 years earlier sees citations fall 7.2% (p < .01) on average. The citation loss is similar in magnitude but not statistically significant for still older work. Examining citation losses by degrees of separation from the retracted paper (Fig. 4b), negative citation spillovers are found for papers up to four degrees of separation in the citation network (looking backwards in time). Prior publications three or four degrees of separation from the retracted paper experience citation declines of 14.3% (p < .01). The citation loss is similar in magnitude but not statistically significant for prior publications at five or more degrees of separation. Note that ongoing citations to older work are already low, which makes further declines difficult to estimate.

Bottom Line: Scientific articles are retracted at increasing rates, with the highest rates among top journals.Importantly, however, citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error.Our analyses and results span the range of scientific disciplines.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.

ABSTRACT
Scientific articles are retracted at increasing rates, with the highest rates among top journals. Here we show that a single retraction triggers citation losses through an author's prior body of work. Compared to closely-matched control papers, citations fall by an average of 6.9% per year for each prior publication. These chain reactions are sustained on authors' papers (a) published up to a decade earlier and (b) connected within the authors' own citation network by up to 4 degrees of separation from the retracted publication. Importantly, however, citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error. Our analyses and results span the range of scientific disciplines.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus