|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Ahead of print publication
Trend of global and indian biomedical retracted literature
Himel Mondal1, Shaikat Mondal2, Sarika Mondal3
1 Department of Physiology, Santiniketan Medical College, Bolpur, India
2 Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Raiganj, India
3 Medical Writer, Medical Education and Research Association, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
|Date of Submission||18-Jun-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||30-Jun-2021|
Department of Physiology, Santiniketan Medical College, Bolpur, West Bengal
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
We read your editorial titled “Corrections in biomedical literature: Errata, expressions of concern, and retractions.” We agree with you that errors may occur at various stages of the research publication. Moreover, correcting those errors is good for science. In addition, keeping that erroneous article online with retraction notice brings transparency in science reporting. The research publication from India is huge. Hence, a fair percentage of the retraction is also from India.
The number of global and Indian research articles found in https://retractiondatabase.org is presented in [Table 1]. This includes all the articles that were either retracted, withdrawn, having erratum, having the expression of concern, etc. The share of Indian research articles in global number is 4.89%. The maximum number of papers is from basic life science, followed by physical science and health science.
The majority of the retraction of biomedical literature is due to various forms of plagiarism, either intentional or unintentional. The journal editors need to invest their valuable time in the investigation to find out the truth. There are no specific guidelines about who should check the plagiarism. However, we think that the author should take the initiative to check for the plagiarism of their articles because a retraction due to intentional or unintentional plagiarism is ultimately the loss of the authors.
If we look at the retracted papers in PubMed from 1990 to 2020, unlike the global pattern [Figure 1]a the number of retracted articles from India is decreasing faster [Figure 1]b. In 2014, the peak reached for global and Indian retracted articles. However, then the number is gradually decreasing for India. Hence, we presume that Indian researchers had made mistake in the past, but are trying to correct the error.
|Figure 1: Number of retracted publication in PubMed from 1990 to 2020. (a) Global data and (b) Indian data Footnote: Data obtained from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ with keywords “Retracted publication” AND “India” (11:30 am IST). The data excludes article that are not retracted but appeared under the search result for having the keywords in the manuscript|
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Furthermore, a compulsory course – Basic course in Biomedical Research for Indian postgraduate medical students and faculties would have an impact on Indian research output from medical institutions. The course not only provides comprehensive training on research ethics but also has a module on publication ethics. Hence, we again presume that Indian biomedical research is on the “error-correcting” phase. However, our presumption may be challenged.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Talari K, Ravindran V. Corrections in biomedical literature: Errata, expressions of concern, and retractions. Indian J Rheumatol 2020;15:258-60. [Full text]
Campos-Varela I, Ruano-Raviña A. Misconduct as the main cause for retraction. A descriptive study of retracted publications and their authors. Gac Sanit 2019;33:356-60.
Elango B. Retracted articles in the biomedical literature from Indian authors. Scientometrics 2021;126:3965-81.
Mondal H, Mondal S. Whose responsibility is to check plagiarism? J Sci Soc 2018;45:151-2. [Full text]