Table 2

Retracted medical genetics and non-medical genetics articles in the Retraction Watch database, from 1970 to 2018 and in five time periods. (A) Reasons for retraction and investigation. (B) Country of origin of authors of retracted articles. Information pertaining to the seven top countries with the highest number of biomedical retracted articles1

Reason for retraction1970–20181970–20002001–20052006–20102011–20152016–2018
Medical genetics N=690 n (%) (95% CI)Non-medical
genetics
N:892 n (%) (95% CI)
Medical genetics
N=55 n (%)
(95% CI)
Non-medical
genetics
N=95 n (%) (95% CI)
Medical genetics
N=91 n (%) (95% CI)
Non-medical
genetics
N=122 n (%) (95% CI)
Medical genetics
N=159 n (%) (95% CI)
Non-medical
genetics
N=255 n (%) (95% CI)
Medical genetics
N=326 n (%)
(95% CI)
Non-medical
genetics
N=301 n (%) (95% CI)
Medical genetics
N=59 n (%) (95% CI)
Non-medical
genetics
N=119 n (%) (95% CI)
A.Reason for retraction and investigation of retracted articles
Fabrication/ falsification*128 (18.6)† (15.7 to 21.7)249 (27.9)†
(25.0 to 31.0)
17 (30.9)
(19.1 to 44.8)
28 (29.5)
(20.6 to 39.7)
19 (20.9)
(13.1 to 30.7)
47 (38.5)
(29.9 to 47.8)
55 (34.6)
(27.2 to 42.5)
86 (33.7)
(27.9 to 39.9)
33 (10.1)†
(7.1 to 13.9)
83 (27.6)†
(22.6 to 33.0)
4 (6.8)
(1.9 to 16.5)
5 (4.2)
(1.4 to 9.5)
Plagiarism‡71 (10.3)
(8.1 to 12.8)
77 (8.6)
(6.9 to 10.7)
2 (3.6)
(0.4 to12.5)
2 (2.1)
(0.3 to 7.4)
8 (8.8)
(3.9 to 16.6)
4 (3.3)
(0.9 to 8.2)
12 (7.5)
(4.0 to 12.8)
23 (9.0)
(5.8 to 13.2)
36 (11.0)
(7.9 to 15.0)
34 (11.3)
(8.0 to 15.4)
13 (22.0)
(12.3 to 34.7)
14 (11.8)
(6.6 to 19.0)
Duplication§149 (21.6)
(18.6 to 24.9)
235 (26.3)
(23.5 to 29.4)
0 (0.0)
(0.0 to 6.5)
10 (10.5)
(5.2 to 18.5)
33 (36.3)
(26.4 to 47.0)
33 (27.0)
(19.4 to 35.8)
46 (28.9)
(22.0 to 36.6)
85 (33.3)
(27.6 to 39.5)
60 (18.4)
(14.3 to 23.0)
78 (25.9)
(21.1 to 31.3)
10 (16.9)
(8.4 to 29.0)
29 (24.4)
(17.0 to 33.1)
Unreliable information¶69 (10.0)
(7.9 to 12.5)
127 (14.2)
(12.0 to 16.7)
10 (18.2)
(9.1 to 30.9)
15 (15.8)
(9.1 to 24.7)
14 (15.4)
(8.7 to 24.5)
15 (12.3)
(7.0 to 19.5)
19 (11.9)
(7.4 to 18.0)
37 (14.5)
(10.4 to 19.4)
18 (5.5)
(3.3 to 8.6)
18 (6.0)
(3.6 to 9.3)
8 (13.6)
(6.0 to 25.0)
16 (13.4)
(7.9 to 20.9)
Authorship issues**50 (7.2)
(5.4 to 9.4)
109 (12.2)
(10.1 to 14.6)
8 (14.5)
(6.5 to 26.7)
12 (12.6)
(6.7 to 21.0)
7 (7.7)
(3.1 to 15.2)
18 (14.8)
(9.0 to 22.3)
10 (6.3)
(3.1 to 11.3)
34 (13.3)
(9.4 to 18.1)
27 (8.3)
(5.5 to 11.8)
34 (11.3)
(8.0 to 15.4)
11 (18.6)
(9.7 to 30.9)
8 (6.7)
(2.9 to 12.8)
Investigation††312 (45.2)†
(41.5 to 49.0)
275 (30.8)†
(27.8 to 34.0)
16 (29.1)
(17.6 to 42.9)
25 (26.3)
(17.8 to 36.4)
23 (25.3)
(16.7 to 35.5)
50 (41.0)
(32.2 to 50.3)
71 (44.7)
(36.8 to 52.7)
86 (33.7)
(27.9 to 39.9)
182 (55.8)†
(50.3 to 61.3)
97 (32.2)†
(27.0 to 37.8)
20 (33.9)
(22.1 to 47.4)
17 (14.3)
(8.5 to 21.9)
B. Country of origin of authors of retracted articles
China2962130110432492221043255
Germany3540108117101141202
India13611113516327314
Japan52744111624242061425
South Korea2737121166881714
UK175211041271841111
USA197329305136706410757791022
  • n, number of retracted articled because of the specified reason (A) or number of retracted articles with at least one author working in the specified country (B). Many articles were authored by individuals working in more than one of the specified countries. Most articles were retracted because of two or more reasons.

  • The reasons for retraction and investigation of retracted articles as per the Retraction Watch database’s nomenclature:

  • Non-medical genetics papers comprises genetic articles with many other disciplines such as anthropology, biology, biochemistry, botany, ecology, food science, microbiology, veterinary science and zoology.

  • *Falsification/fabrication of data, images and results, and manipulation of results and images.

  • †p<0.001.

  • ‡Euphemism for plagiarism and plagiarism of article, data, images or text.

  • §Duplication of article, data, image and text and euphemism for duplication.

  • ¶Unreliable data, image or results.

  • **Breach of policy by author, concerns/issues about authorship, forged authorship, lack of approval from author, and objections by author.

  • ††Investigation by company/institution, journal/publisher, US Office of Research Integrity or by third party.

  • N, number of retracted articles.