A retraction is a public statement made about an earlier statement that withdraws, cancels, refutes, or reverses the original statement or ceases and desists from publishing the original statement. The retraction may be initiated by the editors of a journal, or by the author(s) of the papers (or their institution). Retractions may or may not be accompanied by the author's further explanation as to how the original statement came to be made and/or what subsequent events, discoveries, or experiences led to the subsequent retraction. They are also in some cases accompanied by apologies for the previous error and/or expressions of gratitude to persons who disclosed the error to the author.
The aim a review of Wang et al. was to assess the chronological trend, reasons, research type/design, and country of origin of retracted neurosurgical publications.
Two independent reviewers searched the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases using neurosurgical keywords for retracted articles from 1995 to 2016. Archives of retracted articles (retractionwatch.com) and the independent websites of neurosurgical journals were also searched. Data including the journal, impact factor, reason for retraction, country of origin, and citations were extracted.
A total of 98 studies were included for data extraction. Journal impact factor ranged from 0.57 to 35.03. Most studies (61) were retracted within the last 5 years. The most common reason for retraction was because of a duplicated publication found elsewhere (26), followed closely by plagiarism (22), or presenting fraudulent data (14). Other reasons included scientific errors/mistakes, author misattribution, and compromised peer review. Articles originated from several different countries and some were widely cited.
Retractions of neurosurgical publications are increasing significantly, mostly due to issues of academic integrity, including duplicate publishing and plagiarism. Implementation of more transparent data sharing repositories, thorough screening of data prior to manuscript submission, as well as additional educational programs for new researchers may help mitigate these issues moving forward 1).