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Is Open Access

Preserving the Integrity of Citations and References by All Stakeholders of Science Communication

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      Citations to scholarly items are building bricks for multidisciplinary science communication. Citation analyses are currently influencing individual career advancement and ranking of academic and research institutions worldwide. This article overviews the involvement of scientific authors, reviewers, editors, publishers, indexers, and learned associations in the citing and referencing to preserve the integrity of science communication. Authors are responsible for thorough bibliographic searches to select relevant references for their articles, comprehend main points, and cite them in an ethical way. Reviewers and editors may perform additional searches and recommend missing essential references. Publishers, in turn, are in a position to instruct their authors over the citations and references, provide tools for validation of references, and open access to bibliographies. Publicly available reference lists bear important information about the novelty and relatedness of the scholarly items with the published literature. Few editorial associations have dealt with the issue of citations and properly managed references. As a prime example, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) issued in December 2014 an updated set of recommendations on the need for citing primary literature and avoiding unethical references, which are applicable to the global scientific community. With the exponential growth of literature and related references, it is critically important to define functions of all stakeholders of science communication in curbing the issue of irrational and unethical citations and thereby improve the quality and indexability of scholarly journals.

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      Most cited references 88

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      Scientific publications. Coercive citation in academic publishing.

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        Writing a narrative biomedical review: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors.

        Review articles comprehensively covering a specific topic are crucial for successful research and academic projects. Most editors consider review articles for special and regular issues of journals. Writing a review requires deep knowledge and understanding of a field. The aim of this review is to analyze the main steps in writing a narrative biomedical review and to consider points that may increase the chances of success. We performed a comprehensive search through MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science using the following keywords: review of the literature, narrative review, title, abstract, authorship, ethics, peer review, research methods, medical writing, scientific writing, and writing standards. Opinions expressed in the review are also based on personal experience as authors, peer reviewers, and editors.
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          Retractions in the medical literature: how many patients are put at risk by flawed research?

           R Steen (2011)
          Clinical papers so flawed that they are eventually retracted may put patients at risk. Patient risk could arise in a retracted primary study or in any secondary study that draws ideas or inspiration from a primary study. To determine how many patients were put at risk, we evaluated 788 retracted English-language papers published from 2000 to 2010, describing new research with humans or freshly derived human material. These primary papers-together with all secondary studies citing them-were evaluated using ISI Web of Knowledge. Excluded from study were 468 basic science papers not studying fresh human material; 88 reviews presenting older data; 22 case reports; 7 papers retracted for journal error and 23 papers unavailable on Web of Knowledge. Overall, 180 retracted primary papers (22.8%) met the inclusion criteria. Subjects enrolled and patients treated in 180 primary studies and 851 secondary studies were combined. Retracted papers were cited over 5000 times, with 93% of citations being research related, suggesting that ideas promulgated in retracted papers can influence subsequent research. Over 28 000 subjects were enrolled-and 9189 patients were treated-in 180 retracted primary studies. Over 400 000 subjects were enrolled-and 70 501 patients were treated-in 851 secondary studies which cited a retracted paper. Papers retracted for fraud (n=70) treated more patients per study (p<0.01) than papers retracted for error (n=110). Many patients are put at risk by retracted studies. These are conservative estimates, as only patients enrolled in published clinical studies were tallied.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Departments of Rheumatology and Research and Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, UK.
            [2 ]Department of Biochemistry, Biology and Microbiology, South Kazakhstan State Pharmaceutical Academy, Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
            [3 ]Department of Marketing and Trade Deals, Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russian Federation.
            [4 ]Department of Statistics and Econometrics, Stavropol State Agrarian University, Stavropol, Russian Federation.
            [5 ]Faculty of Accounting and Finance, Department of Accounting Management Accounting, Stavropol State Agrarian University, Stavropol, Russian Federation.
            [6 ]Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
            Author notes
            Address for Correspondence: Armen Yuri Gasparyan, MD. Departments of Rheumatology and Research & Development, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham, UK), Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley DY1 2HQ, West Midlands, UK. Tel: +44.1384-244842, Fax: +44.1384-244808, a.gasparyan@
            J Korean Med Sci
            J. Korean Med. Sci
            Journal of Korean Medical Science
            The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences
            November 2015
            16 October 2015
            : 30
            : 11
            : 1545-1552
            26538996 4630468 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.11.1545
            © 2015 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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