Publication misconduct and plagiarism retractions: a systematic, retrospective study

Stretton, Serina, Bramich, Narelle J., Keys, Janelle R., Monk, Julie A., Ely, Julie A., Haley, Cassandra, Woolley, Mark J. and Woolley, Karen L. (2012) Publication misconduct and plagiarism retractions: a systematic, retrospective study. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 28 10: 1575-1583. doi:10.1185/03007995.2012.728131

Author Stretton, Serina
Bramich, Narelle J.
Keys, Janelle R.
Monk, Julie A.
Ely, Julie A.
Haley, Cassandra
Woolley, Mark J.
Woolley, Karen L.
Title Publication misconduct and plagiarism retractions: a systematic, retrospective study
Journal name Current Medical Research and Opinion   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-7995
Publication date 2012-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1185/03007995.2012.728131
Volume 28
Issue 10
Start page 1575
End page 1583
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: To investigate whether plagiarism is more prevalent in publications retracted from the medical literature when first authors are affiliated with lower-income countries versus higher-income countries. Secondary objectives included investigating other factors associated with plagiarism (e.g., national language of the first author's country affiliation, publication type, journal ranking).
Design: Systematic, controlled, retrospective, bibliometric study.
Data source: Retracted publications dataset in MEDLINE (search filters: English, human, January 1966February 2008).
Data selection: Retracted misconduct publications were classified according to the first author's country affiliation, country income level, and country national language, publication type, and ranking of the publishing journal. Standardised definitions and data collection tools were used; data were analysed (odds ratio [OR], 95 confidence limits [CL], chi-squared tests) by an independent academic statistician.
Results: Of the 213 retracted misconduct publications, 41.8 (89/213) were retracted for plagiarism, 52.1 (111/213) for falsification/ fabrication, 2.3 (5/213) for author disputes, 2.3 (5/213) for ethical issues, and 1.4 (3/213) for unknown reasons. The OR (95 CL) of plagiarism retractions (other misconduct retractions as reference) were higher (P<0.001) for first authors affiliated with lower-income versus higher-income countries (15.4 [4.5, 52.9]) and with non-English versus English national language countries (3.2 [1.8, 5.7]), for non-original research versus original research publications (8.4 [3.3, 21.3]), for case reports and series versus other original research types (4.2 [1.4, 13.0]), and for publications in low-ranked versus high-ranked journals (4.9 [2.4, 9.9]). Up until 2012, there were significantly (P<0.007) fewer 'serial offenders' (first authors with >1 retraction) with publications retracted for plagiarism (11.5, 9/78) than other types of misconduct (28.9, 24/83).
Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that publications retracted for plagiarism are significantly associated with first authors affiliated with lower-income countries. These findings have implications for developing appropriate evidence-based strategies and allocation of resources to help mitigate plagiarism misconduct.
Keyword Fabrication
Retraction of publication as topic
Scientific misconduct
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 02 Dec 2012, 10:36:59 EST by System User on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences