Biomedical retractions due to misconduct in Europe: characterization and trends in the last 20 years

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The aim was to describe biomedical retractions and analyse those retracted in 2000–2021 due to research misconduct among authors affiliated with European institutions. A cross-sectional study was conducted, using Retraction Watch database, Journal Citation Reports and PubMed as data sources. Biomedical original papers, reviews, case reports and letters with at least one author affiliated with an European institution retracted between 01/01/2000 and 30/06/2021 were included. We characterized rates over time and conducted an analysis on the 4 countries with the highest number of retractions: Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. 2069 publications were identified. Retraction rates increased from 10.7 to 44.8 per 100,000 publications between 2000 and 2020. Research misconduct accounted for most retractions (66.8%). The reasons for misconduct-related retractions shifted over time, ranging from problems of copyright and authorship in 2000 (2.5 per 100,000 publications) to duplication in 2020 (8.6 per 100,000 publications). In 2020, the main reason was fabrication and falsification in the United Kingdom (6.2 per 100,000 publications) and duplication in Spain (13.2 per 100,000 publications).Retractions of papers by authors affiliated with European institutions are increasing and are primarily due to research misconduct. The type of misconduct has changed over time and differ between European countries.




Freijedo-Farinas, F., Ruano-Ravina, A., Pérez-Ríos, M., Ross, J., & Candal-Pedreira, C. (2024). Biomedical retractions due to misconduct in Europe: characterization and trends in the last 20 years. Scientometrics, 129(5), 2867–2882.

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