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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 263-264
Emerging trends in retraction of publications in PubMed-indexed medical journals


Department of Microbiology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

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Date of Web Publication17-Apr-2015
 

How to cite this article:
Kali A, Srirangaraj S. Emerging trends in retraction of publications in PubMed-indexed medical journals. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2015;58:263-4

How to cite this URL:
Kali A, Srirangaraj S. Emerging trends in retraction of publications in PubMed-indexed medical journals. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Aug 25];58:263-4. Available from: http://www.ijpmonline.org/text.asp?2015/58/2/263/155358


Editor,

The increase in frequency of retraction of scientific publication in recent years has raised concern. Retraction is not only an important indicator of quality of scientific work, but also reflects the social and ethical aspects of research. We have attempted to systematically study the trends in retraction of publications in PubMed indexed medical journals over last 10 years from India, China and top 10 countries publishing in medical research, that is, USA, England, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Australia and Sweden (as per Thomson Reuter's ScienceWatch.com website). [1] We also considered India and China for analysis, as these two developing countries have emerging role as a contributor in the medical literature. We carried out a systematic literature search in PubMed and prepared Excel database of articles categorized as "retracted publication" from each of these countries in last 10 years.

As per the data accessed from PubMed on November 16, 2014, a total of 1532 publications has been retracted from medical journals over the last decade from these 12 countries. While USA had the maximum retraction (n = 467), the two developing countries, that is, China (n = 298) and India (n = 175) were the other foremost contributors of retracted publications, accounting for 30.87% of the total retractions. The numbers of retracted publications from Japan, Germany, England, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, France, Australia and Sweden were 173, 104, 84, 65, 46, 39, 31, 30 and 20 respectively. The year-wise trend shows a steady increase in frequency of retractions from 2004 to 2008. Interestingly, the number of retraction of publications has shown a decline from 2009 [Figure 1]. We found that the 1532 retracted publications were from 782 basic science, multi-specialty and subject-specific journals. Out of 782 journals, 15 journals had at least 10 retracted publications in last 10 years and had accounted for 284 retractions (18.53%) [Table 1]. If we categorize these 15 journals and compute their SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) values [2] and Impact factors, [3] six basic science journals with median SJR of 4.85 and impact factor of 7.185 accounted for 118 retractions (19.67 retractions per journal on average), four multi-specialty journals with median SJR of 9.75 and impact factor of 20.63 had 93 retractions (23.25 retractions per journal on average) and five subject-specific journals with median SJR of 3.82 and impact factor of 5.36 had 73 retractions (14.6 retractions per journal on average) [Table 1]. These results suggest that retraction of publication is relatively more in journals with higher SJR/impact factors. This is probably because of scientific reputation, rigorous review process, quality improvement and authentication of research data in high impact journals. The higher frequency of retractions in multi-disciplinary journals in comparison to subject-specific journals may be attributed to their wider scope and distribution in scientific society. Whereas, the basic science journals are the frontiers of scientific research and chiefly publish scientific content which are novel in nature. Hence, results subsequently found to be nonreproducible or invalid in the light of new research have been found as important causes for retractions in these journals.
Figure 1: Year-wise trends in retraction of publications


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Table 1: PubMed indexed medical journals with highest retraction of publications


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   References Top

1.
Top 20 Countries in Clinical Medicine - A Featured Country Selection from Essential Science Indicators; 2008. Available from: http://www.archive.sciencewatch.com/dr/cou/2008/08aug20CLI/. [Last cited on 2014 Nov 16].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
SJR - SCImago Journal & Country Rank. Scimago Lab; 2007. Available from: http://www.scimagojr.com/index.php. [Last cited on 2014 Nov 16].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
CiteFactor: Impact Factor List; 2014. Available from: http://www.citefactor.org/journal-impact-factor-list-2014_0-A.html. [Last cited on 2014 Nov 16].  Back to cited text no. 3
    

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Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arunava Kali
Department of Microbiology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry - 607 402
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.155358

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