Science is built on trust. Trust that your experiments will work. Trust in your collaborators to pull their weight. But most importantly, trust that the data we so painstakingly collect are accurate and as representative of the real world as they can be. And so when I realized that I could no longer trust the data that I had reported in some of my papers, I did what I think is the only correct course of action. I retracted them.
What Difference Do Retractions Make? An Estimate of the Epistemic Impact of Retractions on Recent Meta-analyses
Every year, several hundred publications are retracted due to fabrication and falsification of data or plagiarism and other breeches of research integrity and ethics. However, the extent to which a retraction requires revising previous scientific estimates and beliefs is unknown.
Aside from one retraction, eight articles of ETH Zürich plant biologist Olivier Voinnet have been corrected by the journals so far. Large parts of the scientific community, however, are not exactly satisfied with them.
Retractions of scientific papers have recently been in the spotlight. Unfortunately, the interpretation of statistics about them is often flawed. Evidence suggests that retractions have grown not because of rising misconduct, but because scientists have become more aware of and responsive against fraudulent and flawed research.