Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot reports on the media coverage of a new study published by the Journal of Medical Ethics which shows a disturbing trend — more and more journals are retracting journal articles they previously published.
Worse yet, nearly 32 percent of the retracted papers are not noted as retracted. “Retracted” in scientific language means that the paper has been withdrawn and should be ignored — as though it never existed in the scientific literature. Retractions generally occur because of sloppy research and errors in the data calculations, collection or statistics, or because of fraud.
Is this a trend pointing to lower quality research and sloppier methods being employed? Or perhaps that because more people than ever can read the scientific research, more mistakes are being found after publication?