Background: Retracted articles represent research withdrawn from the existing body of literature after publication. Research articles may be retracted for several reasons ranging from honest errors to intentional misconduct. They should not be used as reliable sources, and it is unclear why they are cited occasionally by other articles. This study hypothesized that several mechanisms may contribute to citing retracted literature and aimed to analyze the characteristics of articles citing retracted literature in anesthesiology and critical care.Methods: Using the Retraction Watch database, we retrieved retracted articles on anesthesiology and intensive care medicine up to August 16, 2021, and identified the papers citing these retracted articles. A survey designed to investigate the reasons for citing these articles was sent to the corresponding authors of the citing papers.Results: We identified 478 retracted articles, 220 (46%) of which were cited at least once. We contacted 1297 corresponding authors of the papers that cited these articles, 417 (30%) of whom responded to our survey and were included in the final analysis. The median number of authors in the analyzed articles was five, and the median elapsed time from retraction to citation was 3 yr. Most of the corresponding authors (372, 89%) were unaware of the retracted status of the cited article, mainly because of inadequate notification of the retraction status in journals and/or databases and the use of stored copies.Conclusions: The corresponding authors were generally unaware of the retraction of the cited article, usually because of inadequate identification of the retracted status in journals and/or web databases and the use of stored copies. Awareness of this phenomenon and rigorous control of the cited references before submitting a paper are of fundamental importance in research.

Inappropriate Citation of Retracted Articles in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine Publications

De Cassai, Alessandro;Geraldini, Federico;De Pinto, Silvia;Carbonari, Ilaria;Boscolo, Annalisa;Monteleone, Francesco;Cavaliere, Fabio;Munari, Marina;Navalesi, Paolo
2022

Abstract

Background: Retracted articles represent research withdrawn from the existing body of literature after publication. Research articles may be retracted for several reasons ranging from honest errors to intentional misconduct. They should not be used as reliable sources, and it is unclear why they are cited occasionally by other articles. This study hypothesized that several mechanisms may contribute to citing retracted literature and aimed to analyze the characteristics of articles citing retracted literature in anesthesiology and critical care.Methods: Using the Retraction Watch database, we retrieved retracted articles on anesthesiology and intensive care medicine up to August 16, 2021, and identified the papers citing these retracted articles. A survey designed to investigate the reasons for citing these articles was sent to the corresponding authors of the citing papers.Results: We identified 478 retracted articles, 220 (46%) of which were cited at least once. We contacted 1297 corresponding authors of the papers that cited these articles, 417 (30%) of whom responded to our survey and were included in the final analysis. The median number of authors in the analyzed articles was five, and the median elapsed time from retraction to citation was 3 yr. Most of the corresponding authors (372, 89%) were unaware of the retracted status of the cited article, mainly because of inadequate notification of the retraction status in journals and/or databases and the use of stored copies.Conclusions: The corresponding authors were generally unaware of the retraction of the cited article, usually because of inadequate identification of the retracted status in journals and/or web databases and the use of stored copies. Awareness of this phenomenon and rigorous control of the cited references before submitting a paper are of fundamental importance in research.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3459594
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