, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 1081–1094 | Cite as

Analysis of retractions in Indian science

  • Bakthavachalam ElangoEmail author
  • Marcin Kozak
  • Periyaswamy Rajendran


An increasing problem throughout the world, plagiarism and related dishonest behaviors have been affecting Indian science for quite some time. To curb this problem, the Indian government has initiated a number of measures, such as providing plagiarism detecting software to all the universities for free. Still, however, many unfair or incorrect papers are published. For some time, publishers have used an efficient tool to deal with such situations: retractions. A published paper that is later discovered to not deserve publication—which can be for a number of reasons—can be withdrawn (and often removed from the online contents of the journal) by the publisher. This study aims (1) to identify retracted publications authored or co-authored by researchers affiliated to Indian institutions and (2) to analyze the reasons for the retractions. To meet these aims, we searched the SCOPUS database to identify retraction notices for articles authored or coauthored by Indian authors. The first retraction notice was issued back in 1996, an exceptionally early retraction, as the next one was published in 2005. Thus, we analyzed 239 retractions (195 from journals and 44 from conference proceedings) published between 2005 and 3 August 2018 (but most were published after 2010), in terms of the following qualitative retraction-wise parameters: the main reason for retraction, authorship, a collaboration level, collaborating countries, sources of retraction (a journal or conference proceedings), and funding sources of the research. We also detected journals with high retraction frequencies. Mainly two phrases—“Retraction notice to” and “Retracted Article”—were used to retract publications. The most frequent reason for retractions was plagiarism.


Publication ethics Research ethics Retracted publications India 



We would like to thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments on the first version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LibraryIFET College of EngineeringVillupuramIndia
  2. 2.Department of Quantitative and Qualitative MethodsUniversity of Information Technology and Management in RzeszowRzeszowPoland
  3. 3.University LibrarySRM Institute of Science and TechnologyKattangulathurIndia

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