Scientific retractions increasing exponentially


In an article in today’s New York Times, “A sharp rise in retractions prompts calls for reform,” Carl Zimmer documents and analyzes the sharp increase in the proportion of papers retracted in the scientific literature. From 2000-2009 the trend is disturbing (pictured above).

The article notes:

In October 2011, for example, the journal Nature reported that published retractions had increased tenfold over the past decade, while the number of published papers had increased by just 44 percent. In 2010 The Journal of Medical Ethics published a study finding the new raft of recent retractions was a mix of misconduct and honest scientific mistakes…
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