NWB2023_The ripple effect of scientific misconduct on an author’s career.pdf (2.45 MB)

NWB2023_The ripple effect of scientific misconduct on an author’s career

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posted on 2023-10-04, 16:37 authored by Kiran Sharma, Satyam Mukherjee

Scientific community is hinged upon trust and the growth of the retraction database raises a severe concern to the scientific community. Although scientific collaborations increase research productivity by using an individual’s knowledge and research skill set; however, a wrong collaboration can create distrust among peers. The present study aims to (i) analyze the impact of scientific misconduct on collaboration networks computed from the author’s entire career. (ii) Whether scientific misconduct reduces collaboration of misconducting authors as opposed to those who never faced allegations of scientific misconduct. From Web of Science database, we extracted and analyzed 24209 unique authors from 5972 retracted papers from 1990 to 2020. In the collaboration network, the authors tagged as “Got Retraction” if they received at least one retraction in their career else “Never Retracted”. For each year, we computed the average degree and average clustering coefficient of all retracted and non-retracted authors. We further computed the difference between the last and current retraction for each author. Interestingly, we observe that the average degree of authors with at least one retraction keeps increasing with the publication year and is significantly higher than authors with no retractions. A similar trend is observed through local clustering coefficient too. Our preliminary results suggest that perhaps “stigmatization through mere association” doesn’t affect the collaborative links of authors who indulge in scientific misconduct. Ongoing research aims to study the power and significance of potential factors which could explain the above findings.


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