A study exploring attributes and nature of the retracted literature on mental disorders

Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, Ashwani Mishra

Abstract

This study was aimed at assessing the retracted medical literature on mental disorders. Another aim was to test the hypothesis that the weak research infrastructure in certain countries and the rising pressure to publish in Asia due to the progress of science in that continent may have contributed to the increase in the number of retractions. A bibliometric search was carried out using the PubMed database. The data were analysed using SPSS version 21. The retraction rate for articles on mental disorders (number of retracted articles per 100,000 published articles on mental disorders) varied from a low of 3.56 (for 2005) to a high of 49.25 (for 2012). Of the 38 articles for which the reasons for retraction could be accessed, 10 (26.31%) were retracted for fraud. Overall, 0.0138% of all articles on the biomedical sciences were retracted. Of the articles on mental disorders, 0.0095% were retracted. There was a disproportionately greater number of retractions in the case of articles originating from low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries. Similarly, there was a disproportionately greater number of retractions in the case of articles originating in Asian countries than non-Asian countries.

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