This was a year for splashy headlines about retractions, after some much-ballyhooed findings were pulled. Some prominent scientists each retracted multiple papers in 2015. And, of course, the last 12 months saw more and more cases of faked peer review. Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the top 10 retraction stories of 2015.When we at Retraction Watch reported in May that political science grad student Michael LaCour had faked some aspects of a 2014 Science paper, the news crashed our site. That’s because the study—which claimed that short, in-person conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage—had grabbed the media’s attention. But when graduate students who were not involved in the study found problems with the findings, Science pulled the paper.
Plant biologist Olivier Voinnet would probably rather forget 2015. After several of his papers were questioned on PubPeer, Voinnet—winner of the 2013 Rössler Prize—announced he would be correcting the record for multiple papers. This month, he lodged his seventh retraction.
Can’t take criticism? Just make up your own reviews! It may sound far-fetched, but we’ve now counted more than 270 retractions, more than half of them this year, which occurred because authors or editors compromised the peer-review process in some way—most egregiously, some authors faked email addresses for peer reviewers and gave their own papers a green light.
We saw another fall from grace for a paper that was a media darling upon publication. An August paper that suggested feeling blue might affect how you…