While some have argued that the rise in retractions of journal articles indicates a problem within the sciences, in a letter to Nature, Daniele Fanelli from the University of Montreal says that is actually a sign of integrity.
A retraction, Fanelli says, doesn't necessarily mean that there was falsification or misconduct. He notes that less than 0.02 percent of papers published each year are retracted. Additionally, he says that after accounting for more journals being able to publish retractions, that apparent increase in the rate of retractions actually disappears.
"Retractions are therefore more logically and usefully interpreted as evidence for the commitment of editors and scientists to remove invalid results from the literature," Fanelli adds.
HT: Retraction Watch