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Title: Sustained Rise in Retractions in the Life Sciences Literature during the Pandemic Years 2020 and 2021
Authors: Yeo-Teh, Nicole Shu Ling 
Tang, Bor Luen 
Issue Date: 16-Aug-2022
Publisher: MDPI AG
Citation: Yeo-Teh, Nicole Shu Ling, Tang, Bor Luen (2022-08-16). Sustained Rise in Retractions in the Life Sciences Literature during the Pandemic Years 2020 and 2021. Publications 10 (3) : 29-29. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to all human endeavors, and scientific research has not been spared. We queried how the retraction of publications might have been affected during the pandemic years 2020–2021. Searches performed with Retraction Watch Database (RWD) revealed that the total number of retractions (as proxied by retraction-related notices) rose steadily from 2013 into the pandemic years 2020–2021. Interestingly, while retractions in the physical and social sciences tapered during 2020–2021, those of the basic life sciences and health sciences showed robust increases in 2020, with the former maintaining a steep rise in 2021. This rise in retractions belied a tapering of total relevant publications in the same year and is confirmed with a complementary search strategy in Scopus. The retraction rate in the medical sciences, particularly those relating to infectious disease, is clearly affected by the anomalous high retraction rate of COVID-19-related papers. However, the sustained increase in the retraction rate of the basic life sciences papers, could be due, at least partly, to retraction spikes in several journals. The rise in retractions in the life and medical sciences could be attributed to heightened post-publication peer review of papers in online platforms such as PubPeer, where numerous problematic papers have been revealed.
Source Title: Publications
ISSN: 23046775
DOI: 10.3390/publications10030029
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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