Retractions in Science

K. Brad Wray, Line Edslev Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Retractions are rare in science, but there is growing concern about the impact retracted papers have. We present data on the retractions in the journal Science, between 1983 and 2017. Each year, approximately 2.6 papers are retracted; that is about 0.34% of the papers published in the journal. 30% of the retracted papers are retracted within 1 year of publication. Some papers are retracted almost 12 years after publication. 51% of the retracted papers are retracted due to honest mistakes. Smaller research teams of 2–4 scientists are responsible for a disproportionately larger share of the retracted papers especially when it comes to retractions due to honest mistakes. In 60% of the cases all authors sign the retraction notice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number
Pages (from-to)2009-2019
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Science
  • authorship
  • collaboration in science
  • honest error
  • misconduct
  • retraction
  • scientific publication


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