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.