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      The relationship and incidence of three editorial notices in PubPeer : Errata, expressions of concern, and retractions

      1 , 2

      Learned Publishing

      John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

      editorial notices, PubPeer

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          Abstract

          This article studies the incidence and relationship of three important relevant editorial notices: errata, expressions of concern, and retractions. The journal club PubPeer was used to extract 39,449 research articles and the 2,308 errata, 189 expressions of concern, and 1,531 retractions associated with these publications. The relationship, time delay, and evolution of these publications were then compared, as was their incidence in journals and disciplines. The results show that the relationship between them is scant, the increase in these notices is in proportion to the scientific literature, and the time delay between publication and editorial notice is frequently over 3 years. According to incidence, editorial notices are more frequent in journals specializing in biochemistry, medicine, and multidisciplinarity, and cancer journals release more errata. Research areas with more editorial notices are the life and health sciences. The research fields with the highest percentages of errata and retractions are Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, and Immunology and Microbiology. It is recognized that the use of PubPeer as a data source may have influenced the results.

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          The perverse effects of competition on scientists' work and relationships.

          Competition among scientists for funding, positions and prestige, among other things, is often seen as a salutary driving force in U.S. science. Its effects on scientists, their work and their relationships are seldom considered. Focus-group discussions with 51 mid- and early-career scientists, on which this study is based, reveal a dark side of competition in science. According to these scientists, competition contributes to strategic game-playing in science, a decline in free and open sharing of information and methods, sabotage of others' ability to use one's work, interference with peer-review processes, deformation of relationships, and careless or questionable research conduct. When competition is pervasive, such effects may jeopardize the progress, efficiency and integrity of science.
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            Retractions in the scientific literature: is the incidence of research fraud increasing?

             R Steen (2011)
            Scientific papers are retracted for many reasons including fraud (data fabrication or falsification) or error (plagiarism, scientific mistake, ethical problems). Growing attention to fraud in the lay press suggests that the incidence of fraud is increasing. The reasons for retracting 742 English language research papers retracted from the PubMed database between 2000 and 2010 were evaluated. Reasons for retraction were initially dichotomised as fraud or error and then analysed to determine specific reasons for retraction. Error was more common than fraud (73.5% of papers were retracted for error (or an undisclosed reason) vs 26.6% retracted for fraud). Eight reasons for retraction were identified; the most common reason was scientific mistake in 234 papers (31.5%), but 134 papers (18.1%) were retracted for ambiguous reasons. Fabrication (including data plagiarism) was more common than text plagiarism. Total papers retracted per year have increased sharply over the decade (r=0.96; p<0.001), as have retractions specifically for fraud (r=0.89; p<0.001). Journals now reach farther back in time to retract, both for fraud (r=0.87; p<0.001) and for scientific mistakes (r=0.95; p<0.001). Journals often fail to alert the naïve reader; 31.8% of retracted papers were not noted as retracted in any way. Levels of misconduct appear to be higher than in the past. This may reflect either a real increase in the incidence of fraud or a greater effort on the part of journals to police the literature. However, research bias is rarely cited as a reason for retraction.
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              Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: A systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Learned Publishing
                Learned Publishing
                John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
                0953-1513
                1741-4857
                April 2021
                October 17 2020
                April 2021
                : 34
                : 2
                : 164-174
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute for Advanced Social Studies (IESA‐CSIC) Córdoba Spain
                [2 ]Joint Research Unit Knowledge Transfer and Innovation, (UCO‐CSIC) Córdoba Spain
                Article
                10.1002/leap.1339
                © 2021

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