Objectives: No systematic studies on retractions in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia exist. The aim of this analysis was to identify characteristics and trends of retractions in this field over the past three decades.
Design: A search of the Retraction Watch Database for retracted articles published between 1990 and 2020 in the field of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia was performed.
Setting: A bibliometric study.
Participants: Five thousand three hundred forty-four retractions with the term "medicine" in the subject code were selected. Retractions of full-length English articles reporting findings in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia were included.
Measurements and main results: A total of 63 articles published in 31 journals from January 1990 to August 2020 were retracted. The majority were original articles (n = 60, 95.2%) and retracted for scientific misconduct (n = 50, 79.4%). The percentage of retractions due to misconduct increased from 2010, with a spike in 2011 (n = 26/50, 52.0%), and reached a plateau in 2014. The three most common reasons for retraction were misconduct by the author (n = 31, 49.2%), duplication (n = 12, 19.0%), and errors within the manuscript (n = 11, 17.5%). The median time from publication to retraction was 4.3 years (IQR: 1.7-9.4) and decreased significantly over time (p < 0.001). The median impact factor (IF) of the journals that published retracted articles was 3.5 (IQR 2.0-4.5) and decreased significantly over the study period (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Scientific misconduct represents the most common reason for retraction in cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia. The median time to retraction and journal IF decreased significantly over time. While this is promising, future efforts should be made to screen for falsified data and standardize the processes after retraction to highlight problematic manuscripts.
Keywords: cardiothoracic anesthesia; misconduct; retractions; vascular anesthesia.
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