What studies of retractions tell us

J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2014 Dec 15;15(2):151-4. doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.855. eCollection 2014 Dec.


The retraction is receiving a growing amount of attention as an important event in scientific and scholarly publishing. Not only are some journals becoming increasingly open in their handling of the articles they withdraw-allowing researchers to gain important insights into the work of their colleagues-but scholars, too, have greater access to the reasons for retractions, information that is dramatically reshaping our understanding of such events. As this article will demonstrate, recent research has inverted the accepted lore about why retractions happen and their impact.