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Title:Challenges in discovering the retracted status of an article
Author(s):Suelzer, Elizabeth M.; Deal, Jennifer; Hanus, Karen L.
Subject(s):retracted publications
citation of retracted publications
recommendations for databases
ProQuest PsycINFO
Web of Science
prominence of retracted status
Abstract:Our research team advocates for clear, consistent, and easily discoverable methods for disseminating that retraction status. We base these recommendations off a 2019-2020 research project we conducted as a group of librarians in southeastern Wisconsin. In our study, we performed an analysis of 150 retracted articles to investigate how journals and database publishers were labeling article retractions and notices of retraction. The purpose of this study was to highlight the challenges of identifying the retracted status of an article. We recommend that journals and database producers use clear and consistent methods for labeling articles as being retracted and that all groups follow a similar style. Adding a prefix of “Retracted:” to the article title of a retracted publication and including a link to the notice of retraction under the article title is ideal. We found it ironic that the only free database in our study, PubMed, was the one that most clearly and consistently indicated the retracted status of articles. We feel that taking care to ensure that retracted articles are accurately labeled and easily identified as being retracted should be a basic expectation of subscription databases. At a time when library budgets are dwindling and we need to take a close look at database performance to justify the expense, we expect databases to provide better oversight of article retraction identification. Additionally, we have determined that citation management systems themselves can assist in the identification of the retracted status of articles. Zotero has partnered with Retraction Watch to automatically check a user’s database for documents that have been retracted. Retracted publications are flagged and when you try to cite one, Zotero will warn you so you can reflect on whether you should be building upon retracted science. Currently, this feature is limited to publications with DOI or PMID, but we believe it’s an innovation that more citation management systems should employ and expand upon. Citation management systems are used by many researchers and wide use of this type of mechanism could help to stop the spread of retracted science.
Issue Date:2020
Citation Info:Suelzer, Elizabeth M., Deal, Jennifer, Hanus, Karen L. 2020. Challenges in discovering the retracted status of an article. Discussion paper for Reducing the Inadvertent Spread of Retracted Science: Shaping a Research and Implementation Agenda.
Genre:Working / Discussion Paper
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-09-04

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