A new study shows that studies can’t be trusted. Researchers found that nearly 70 percent of research articles have been retracted because of fraud.
When researchers reviewed more than 2,000 articles published in scientific journals, they found that 67.4 percent had to be retracted. Fraudulent studies have increased nearly tenfold since the 1970s.
The majority of fraudulent articles came out of the United States. Germany, Japan, China, the U.K., India and South Korea also produced erroneous research.
The research on fraudulent articles, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, concludes that on average it takes about 32 months for an article to be found fraudulent and get retracted. By that time, many stories have already been treated as fact, and governmental policy may have been enacted because of the so-called research.
“Authors commonly write, ‘We regret we have to retract our paper because the work is not reproducible,’ which is not exactly a lie,” said Arturo Casadevall, M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “The work indeed was not reproducible-because it was fraudulent. Researchers try to protect their labs and their reputations, and these retractions are written in such a way that you often don’t know what really happened.”