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Science

Misconduct, Not Error, Is the Main Cause of Scientific Retractions 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the fake-data-looks-much-better-than-real-data dept.
ananyo writes "One of the largest-ever studies of retractions has found that two-thirds of retracted life-sciences papers were stricken from the scientific record because of misconduct such as fraud or suspected fraud — and that journals sometimes soft-pedal the reason. The study contradicts the conventional view that most retractions of papers in scientific journals are triggered by unintentional errors. The survey examined all 2,047 articles in the PubMed database that had been marked as retracted by 3 May this year. But rather than taking journals' retraction notices at face value, as previous analyses have done, the study used secondary sources to pin down the reasons for retraction if the notices were incomplete or vague. The analysis revealed that fraud or suspected fraud was responsible for 43% of the retractions. Other types of misconduct — duplicate publication and plagiarism — accounted for 14% and 10% of retractions, respectively. Only 21% of the papers were retracted because of error (abstract)."
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Misconduct, Not Error, Is the Main Cause of Scientific Retractions

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:14PM (#41528629)

    That would be too ironic.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @02:55PM (#41529201) Homepage

    You've discovered representative traits of different societies. In many Asian societies, individual achievement is valued highly, so each individual must work the hardest to be outstanding. In many Indian societies, the collective effort is what's valued, so a team gathering bits and pieces from myriad sources and reassembling them into a new product is the respectable path to success. In many European and American societies, slacking off and blaming others for the consequences is a venerated tradition.

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