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Inicio Medicina Clínica (English Edition) Analysis of biomedical Spanish articles retracted between 1970 and 2018
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Vol. 154. Issue 4.
Pages 125-130 (February 2020)
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Vol. 154. Issue 4.
Pages 125-130 (February 2020)
Original article
DOI: 10.1016/j.medcle.2019.04.033
Analysis of biomedical Spanish articles retracted between 1970 and 2018
Análisis de los artículos españoles de biomedicina retractados entre 1970 y 2018
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Rafael Dal-Ré
Unidad de Epidemiología, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria-Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Hospital Universitario, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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Tables (5)
Table 1. (A) Number of retracted articles according to subject and study periods. In addition, the number of articles signed by authors from Spain and at least one other country is shown in brackets. (B) Number of retracted articles according to subject and included in 2 or 3 subjects.
Table 2. The most important reasons given for the retraction of the articles (n=155). An article is usually retracted for more than one reason.
Table 3. Reasons for some of the retractions of articles from prestigious journals.
Table 4. Reasons for the retracted articles from Spanish journals.
Table 5. Singular cases of retracted articles.
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Additional material (1)
Abstract
Background and objective

To analyse articles retracted due to authors’ misbehaviors contributes to know the scientific integrity situation of a discipline or a country. The largest worldwide database on retracted articles is Retraction Watch (RW). The objective was to know the reasons and features of the biomedical articles retracted of Spanish authors.

Material and methods

A search was conducted in the RW database of 7 types of scientific articles from 9 biomedicine disciplines –biology, genetics, medicine, microbiology, neurosciences, nutrition, dentistry, public health and toxicology–, with at least one author working in a Spanish center, and published between 1970 and 2018. The features of the articles and the reasons for their retraction were recorded.

Results

Of the 18,621 retracted articles, 217 (1%) were from Spanish authors; 155 (74%) were of biomedicine and the types of article of interest. In a majority of cases, there were several reasons to retract an article. Scientific misconduct (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism) and duplication were involved in 23% and 35% of the cases, respectively. Only 8% of the articles were retracted due to errors of the authors or the journals. A dentist retracted 18 articles –all from the same journal and in the same year, 2018–, which accounts for 12% of all biomedicine retracted articles.

Conclusion

The number of biomedicine retracted articles by Spanish authors is low. Scientific misconduct was a reason frequently involved, with few articles retracted by honest errors.

Keywords:
Retracted articles
Biomedicine
Spain
Retraction Watch database
Biology
Genetics
Medicine
Microbiology
Neurosciences
Nutrition
Odontology
Public health
Toxicology
Resumen
Antecedentes y objetivo

Analizar los artículos retractados por irregularidades de los autores contribuye a conocer el estado de la integridad científica de una disciplina o un país. La base de datos Retraction Watch (RW) es la que contiene más artículos retractados a nivel mundial. El objetivo fue conocer las razones y características de los artículos retractados de biomedicina de autores españoles.

Material y Métodos

Se realizó una búsqueda en la base de datos RW de 7 tipos de artículos científicos de 9 disciplinas de biomedicine −biología, genética, medicina, microbiología, neurociencias, nutrición, odontología, salud pública y toxicología−, con al menos un autor que trabajase en un centro español, publicados en 1970–2018. Se registraron las características de los artículos y las razones de su retractación.

Resultados

De los 18.621 artículos retractados 217 (1%) lo eran de españoles; 155 (74%) eran de biomedicina y de los tipos de artículos de interés. En la mayoría, hubo varias razones para retractar el artículo. La mala práctica científica (fabricación, falsificación, plagio) y la duplicación estaban involucradas en 23% y el 35% de los casos, respectivamente. Sólo el 8% de los artículos se retractaron por errores de los autores o de las revistas. Un odontólogo retractó 18 artículos –todos de la misma revista y en el mismo año, 2018−, lo que supone el 12% de todos los artículos retractados de biomedicina.

Conclusión

El número de artículos retractados de autores españoles en biomedicina es bajo. La mala práctica científica es una razón frecuentemente involucrada, con pocos artículos retractados por errores involuntarios.

Palabras clave:
Artículos retractados
Biomedicina
España
Base de datos Retraction Watch
Biología
Genética
Medicina
Microbiología
Neurociencias
Nutrición
Odontología
Salud pública
Toxicología

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