ObjectivesTo evaluate the landscape of retractions of literature and to determine the prevalence of research misconduct in the field of urology.
MethodsThree databases (PUBMED, Embase, Retraction Watch) were queried for all retracted studies on urological topics in both urological and non-urological journals from April 1999 to March 2018. Two reviewers screened the records and determined the final list of articles to be included in the analysis.
ResultsA total of 138 articles met the inclusion criteria. Over 80% of retractions occurred after 2009. Retractions originated from 76 different journals (13 urological journals) and 28 countries. The most common reasons for retraction were plagiarism (28%), fake peer review (20%), error (20%), and falsification of data (13%). Misconduct accounted for two-thirds of the retractions (n = 93). A large watermark, indicating retraction of the article, was present in 75% of the manuscripts. Articles were cited a total of 4454 times, 38% of citations happened after retraction. The majority of retracted articles related to urological oncology (70%). The highest number of retractions for an individual author was five. Rates of retraction among popular urological journals since 2010 have increased but remain a small proportion of all publications: BJUI, 0.189%; World Journal of Urology, 0.132%; European Urology, 0.058%; Urology, 0.047%; and Journal of Urology, 0.024%.
ConclusionRetractions of urological literature, similarly to retractions of other biomedical literature, have been rising over the last decade. The majority of these retractions stem from research misconduct. Despite retractions, flawed articles continued to be cited.