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October 3 2012

Tenfold increase in scientific research papers retracted for fraud


The proportion of scientific research that is retracted due to fraud has increased tenfold since 1975, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of how research papers go wrong.

The study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that more than two-thirds of the biomedical and life sciences papers that have been retracted from the scientific record are due to misconduct by researchers, rather than error.

The results add weight to recent concerns that scientific misconduct is on the rise and that fraud increasingly affects fields that underpin many areas of public concern, such as medicine and healthcare.

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