Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Editorial Misconduct—Definition, Cases, and Causes
Previous Article in Journal
The Means of (Re-)Production: Expertise, Open Tools, Standards and Communication
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Case-Control Comparison of Retracted and Non-Retracted Clinical Trials: Can Retraction Be Predicted?
Publications 2014, 2(2), 44-50; doi:10.3390/publications2020044
Article

The Demographics of Deception: What Motivates Authors Who Engage in Misconduct?

Received: 9 February 2014; in revised form: 20 March 2014 / Accepted: 21 March 2014 / Published: 28 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Misconduct in Scientific Publishing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [188 KB, uploaded 28 March 2014]   |   Browse Figure
Abstract: We hypothesized that scientific misconduct (data fabrication or falsification) is goal-directed behavior. This hypothesis predicts that papers retracted for misconduct: are targeted to journals with a high impact factor (IF); are written by authors with additional papers withdrawn for misconduct; diffuse responsibility across many (perhaps innocent) co-authors; and are retracted slower than papers retracted for other infractions. These hypotheses were initially tested and confirmed in a database of 788 papers; here we reevaluate these hypotheses in a larger database of 2,047 English-language papers. Journal IF was higher for papers retracted for misconduct (p < 0.0001). Roughly 57% of papers retracted for misconduct were written by a first author with other retracted papers; 21% of erroneous papers were written by authors with >1 retraction (p < 0.0001). Papers flawed by misconduct diffuse responsibility across more authors (p < 0.0001) and are withdrawn more slowly (p < 0.0001) than papers retracted for other reasons. Papers retracted for unknown reasons are unlike papers retracted for misconduct: they are generally published in journals with low IF; by authors with no other retractions; have fewer authors listed; and are retracted quickly. Papers retracted for unknown reasons appear not to represent a deliberate effort to deceive.
Keywords: data fabrication; data falsification; scientific fraud; plagiarism; misconduct data fabrication; data falsification; scientific fraud; plagiarism; misconduct
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Steen, R.G. The Demographics of Deception: What Motivates Authors Who Engage in Misconduct? Publications 2014, 2, 44-50.

AMA Style

Steen RG. The Demographics of Deception: What Motivates Authors Who Engage in Misconduct? Publications. 2014; 2(2):44-50.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Steen, R. G. 2014. "The Demographics of Deception: What Motivates Authors Who Engage in Misconduct?" Publications 2, no. 2: 44-50.

Publications EISSN 2304-6775 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert