Answered By: Nicole Montgomery
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2022     Views: 7

Article Retraction

The retraction of an article is the removal of an already published article from a journal. This decision may be made by the article's author(s), the journal's editor, and/or the editorial board.

Retractions do not happen because of small editorial errors. An article would be corrected in this case.

Retractions reflect more serious issues with an article:

  • errors in the research
  • issues with reproducibility of the research
  • plagiarism
  • falsification of data or results
  • fabrication of data or results
  • copyright infringement
  • failure to disclose conflict of interest
  • no institutional review board approval for research on human subjects or animals


"Retractions play an important role in research communication by highlighting and explaining how research projects have failed and thereby preventing these mistakes from being repeated." (Vuong, 2020.)


Examples of Retracted Articles


You may see a visual alert that an article has been retracted. Notice the alert includes the reasons the article was retracted.

Article displayed in LibKey reflecting a retraction alert and reasons for retraction


Or you may see a notice of the article's retraction when reviewing an article's record.

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief of Personality and Individual Differences after concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses. While reanalyzing the dataset, the authors and a reader of the journal identified several errors that were made while computing some of the aggregate variables in this study. These errors impacted the results and conclusions of the article. Thus, in the best interests of science, knowledge creation/dissemination, and publication standards, the Editor has concluded it is necessary to retract the paper. The authors apologize in earnest for these errors.


A retraction notice for an article in the Science Direct database


Locate Retracted Articles

There are several ways to find retracted articles or notices of retractions.


Retraction Watch

Retraction Watch reports on scientific paper retractions and maintains a database of retractions. Retraction Watch's parent organization, the Center for Scientific Integrity, promotes transparency in science and scientific publishing.

To get the most out of searching the database, look through the Retraction Watch Database User Guide. You will find a link to the database on this page.


CINAHL Database

In the Publication Type box, click on Corrected Article.


PubMed Database

In Article Types, you can click on the following options: 

  • Corrected and Republished Article
  • Retracted Publication
  • Retraction of Publication


APA PsycInfo Database

In the Document Type box, click on the following:

  • Erratum/Correction
  • Retraction


Google Scholar

Try using these keywords in a search:

"Retracted article" or retracted or "retraction notice"




  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2021). Retraction Guidelines.
  • National Science Foundation (n.d.).  Key regulations.
  • Vuong, Quan-Hoang. (2020, February 20). Retractions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. What researchers stand to gain from taking more care to understand errors in the scientific record. LSE Impact Blog.
  • Walden University Library. (n.d.) Library Guide to Academic Publishing: Journal Article Retraction.
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center Research Medical Library. (2019, July 1.)  What are retracted articles? How can I find them?



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