But that’s a big improvement, says Retraction Watch:
One hundred forty-seven journals (74%) responded to a request for information. Of these, 95 (65%) had a retraction policy. Of journals with a retraction policy, 94% had a policy that allows the editors to retract articles without authors’ consent.
Why it isn’t simple:
Retracting scientific papers can pose ethical and legal challenges for journal editors and publishers [1, 2]. The easiest cases occur when the authors all agree that the paper should be retracted due to serious error or misconduct. In harder cases, the authors do not all agree that a paper should be retracted. For example, one author may oppose retraction, believing that a serious flaw identified in the paper affects only a part of the research and not the entire study. If the authors do not all agree on the decision to retract a paper, the editor must decide whether to retract a paper without consent of all of the authors. If a paper is retracted without the consent of all authors, a journal may face the threat of litigation from dissenting authors. When editors receive allegations of research misconduct related to a published paper, they must decide how to deal with these accusations and whether to retract a paper suspected of being affected by misconduct. Editors may decide not to retract a paper until misconduct is confirmed by the author’s institution, although they may publish an expression of concern while an investigation is ongoing or in the absence of a proper investigation.
A bit off topic for our list, you say? Well, okay, we’re just coming off a long weekend here at UD News in Canada (and that means a very long weekend). And sensible retraction policies are a good way of defending the best against the rest.
Follow UD News at Twitter!