Visualizing the prominence of suspicious medical research publications

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A recent exposé in Science magazine concluded that “Fake scientific papers are alarmingly common.” The article quoted a preprint from the German neuropsychologist Bernhard Sabel, which estimated that in 2020, up to one-third of neuroscience papers and nearly a quarter of medicine papers were likely falsified or plagiarized, highlighting a concerning prevalence of suspicious medical research.. In 2022, Columbia’s Voices in Bioethics posted a comprehensive analysis underscoring the pervasiveness of misconduct in medical research, highlighting the intense “publish or perish” dynamic as a driving factor for the problem.

In a related story, we share a timeline highlighting prominent examples of fraudulent activities in scientific research since the 1960s.

Given the alarming rise in suspicious medical research, we parsed through and visualized the retraction data fro…

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