Retraction: The “Other Face” of Research Collaboration?

Li Tang, Guangyuan Hu, Yang Sui, Yuhan Yang, Cong Cao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


The last two decades have witnessed the rising prevalence of both co-publishing and retraction. Focusing on research collaboration, this paper utilizes a unique dataset to investigate factors contributing to retraction probability and elapsed time between publication and retraction. Data analysis reveals that the majority of retracted papers are multi-authored and that repeat offenders are collaboration prone. Yet, all things being equal, collaboration, in and of itself, does not increase the likelihood of producing flawed or fraudulent research, at least in the form of retraction. That holds for all retractions and also retractions due to falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism (FFP). The research also finds that publications with authors from elite universities are less likely to be retracted, which is particularly true for retractions due to FFP. China stands out with the fastest retracting speed compared to other countries. Possible explanations, limitations, and policy implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1708
Number of pages28
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Diffusion of responsibility
  • Research collaboration
  • Retraction
  • Scientific misconduct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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