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BMC veterinary research
Volume 18 | Issue 1 (February 2022)

Comprehensive analysis of retracted journal articles in the field of veterinary medicine and animal health.

BMC Vet Res. February 2022;18(1):73.
Mary M Christopher1
1 School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, 4206 VetMed 3A, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.
© 2022. The Author(s).


BACKGROUND:Retractions are a key proxy for recognizing errors in research and publication and for reconciling misconduct in the scientific literature. The underlying factors associated with retractions can provide insight and guide policy for journal editors and authors within a discipline. The goal of this study was to systematically review and analyze retracted articles in veterinary medicine and animal health. A database search for retractions of articles with a veterinary/animal health topic, in a veterinary journal, or by veterinary institution-affiliated authors was conducted from first available records through February 2019 in MEDLINE/PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Retraction Watch, and Google Scholar. Annual frequency of retractions, journal and article characteristics, author affiliation and country, reasons for retraction, and retraction outcomes were recorded.
RESULTS:Two-hundred-forty-two articles retracted between 1993 and 2019 were included in the study. Over this period, the estimated rate of retraction increased from 0.03/1000 to 1.07/1000 veterinary articles. Median time from publication to retraction was 478 days (range 0-3653 days). Retracted articles were published in 30 (12.3%) veterinary journals and 132 (81.5%) nonveterinary journals. Veterinary journals had disproportionately more retractions than nonveterinary journals (P = .0155). Authors/groups with ≥2 retractions accounted for 37.2% of retractions. Authors from Iran and China published 19.4 and 18.2% of retracted articles respectively. Authors were affiliated with a faculty of veterinary medicine in 59.1% of retracted articles. Of 242 retractions, 204 (84.3%) were research articles, of which 6.4% were veterinary clinical research. Publication misconduct (plagiarism, duplicate publication, compromised peer review) accounted for 75.6% of retractions, compared with errors (20.6%) and research misconduct (18.2%). Journals published by societies/institutions were less likely than those from commercial publishers to indicate a reason for retraction. Thirty-one percent of HTML articles and 14% of PDFs were available online but not marked as retracted.
CONCLUSIONS:The rate of retraction in the field of veterinary and animal health has increased by ~ 10-fold per 1000 articles since 1993, resulting primarily from increased publication misconduct, often by repeat offenders. Veterinary journals and society/institutional journals could benefit from improvement in the quality of retraction notices.

Editorial policies; Publication ethics; Publication misconduct; Research misconduct; Veterinary journals;

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