“Post retraction citations in context: a case study” by Judit Bar-Ilan and Gali Halevi published in Scientometrics

“Post retraction citations in context: a case study” by Judit Bar-Ilan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Karoly Takacs (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA) has been published in the online version of Scientometrics. The article will be included in the special issue on “Scientometrics of peer review” that includes many articles originally presented at PEERE meetings and co-authored by PEERE members. Here is the (full open access) article

Abstract. This study examines the nature of citations to articles that were retracted in 2014. Out of 987 retracted articles found in ScienceDirect, an Elsevier full text database, we selected all articles that received more than 10 citations between January 2015 and March 2016. Since the retraction year was known for only about 83% of the retracted articles, we chose to concentrate on recent citations, that for certain appeared after the cited paper was retracted. Overall, we analyzed 238 citing documents and identified the context of each citation as positive, negative or neutral. Our results show that the vast majority of citations to retracted articles are positive despite of the clear retraction notice on the publisher’s platform and regardless of the reason for retraction. Positive citations can be also seen to articles that were retracted due to ethical misconduct, data fabrication and false reports. In light of these results, we listed some recommendations for publishers that could potentially minimize the referral to retracted studies as valid.