Send to

Choose Destination
Scientometrics. 2017;113(1):547-565. doi: 10.1007/s11192-017-2242-0. Epub 2017 Mar 3.

Post retraction citations in context: a case study.

Author information

Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY USA.


This study examines the nature of citations to articles that were retracted in 2014. Out of 987 retracted articles found in ScienceDirect, an Elsevier full text database, we selected all articles that received more than 10 citations between January 2015 and March 2016. Since the retraction year was known for only about 83% of the retracted articles, we chose to concentrate on recent citations, that for certain appeared after the cited paper was retracted. Overall, we analyzed 238 citing documents and identified the context of each citation as positive, negative or neutral. Our results show that the vast majority of citations to retracted articles are positive despite of the clear retraction notice on the publisher's platform and regardless of the reason for retraction. Positive citations can be also seen to articles that were retracted due to ethical misconduct, data fabrication and false reports. In light of these results, we listed some recommendations for publishers that could potentially minimize the referral to retracted studies as valid.


Negative citations; Neutral citation; Positive citations; Post retraction citations; Retracted articles

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center