The Retraction Penalty: Evidence from the Web of Science, Nature Scientific Reports
Scientific articles are retracted at increasing rates, with the highest rates among top journals. Here we show that a single retraction triggers citation losses through an authors prior body of work. Compared to closely-matched control papers, citations fall by an average of 6.9% per year for each prior publication. These chain reactions are sustained on authors papers (a) published up to a decade earlier and (b) connected within the authors own citation network by up to 4 degrees of separation from the retracted publication. Importantly, however, citation losses among prior work disappear when authors self-report the error. Our analyses and results span the range of scientific disciplines.
Susan Lu, Ginger Jin, Brian Uzzi, Benjamin F. Jones
Lu, Susan, Ginger Jin, Brian Uzzi, and Benjamin F. Jones. 2013. The Retraction Penalty: Evidence from the Web of Science. Nature Scientific Reports. 3(3146): DOI: 10.1038/srep03146.LINK