1887
Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

The retraction of a previously published research article, often due to the discovery of fraud or scientific error, can pose considerable threat to an author’s career and reputation. This paper examines legitimation strategies in the retraction notice (RN), a document in which authors formally announce their decision to retract an article. By analyzing 300 RNs published between 2010–2021 in Q1 biomedical journals, this study finds that 76% RNs contain at least one legitimation strategy, with Mortification, Full/Partial Denial, and Corrective Action being the most frequently used. Moreover, a comparison of RNs that report fraud, misconduct, error, unreliable data/results, and other similar matters shows that fraud-related RNs have the highest incidence of legitimation strategies. Authors committing fraud often employ Mortification, Disclaimer, and Reassurance, while authors reporting scientific errors put more emphasis on Good Intention and Perseverance. This study contributes to the understanding of legitimation and image repair in scientific discourse.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/ps.22008.lin
2023-06-06
2024-06-18
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Aguilera-Carnerero, Carmen
    2022 ‘From Our Sisters/to Our Sisters: The Discursive Construction of Ideal Womanhood in the Official Magazines of the Islamic State’. Pragmatics and Society13 (3): 453–476. 10.1075/ps.21055.agu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ps.21055.agu [Google Scholar]
  2. Altman, Douglas G.
    2002 ‘Poor-Quality Medical Research: What Can Journals Do?’ JAMA287 (21): 2765–2767. 10.1001/jama.287.21.2765
    https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.287.21.2765 [Google Scholar]
  3. Anderson, Melissa S., Emily A. Ronning, Raymond De Vries, and Brian C. Martinson
    2007 ‘The Perverse Effects of Competition on Scientists’ Work and Relationships’. Science and Engineering Ethics13 (4): 437–461. 10.1007/s11948‑007‑9042‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-007-9042-5 [Google Scholar]
  4. Archakis, Argiris
    2018 ‘The Representations of Racism in Immigrant Students’ Essays in Greece: The “Hybrid Balance” between Legitimizing and Resistance Identities’. Pragmatics28 (1): 1–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Azoulay, Pierre, Alessandro Bonatti, and Joshua L. Krieger
    2017 ‘The Career Effects of Scandal: Evidence from Scientific Retractions’. Research Policy46 (9): 1552–1569. 10.1016/j.respol.2017.07.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2017.07.003 [Google Scholar]
  6. Benoit, William
    1997 ‘Image Repair Discourse and Crisis Communication’. Public Relations Review23 (2): 177–186. 10.1016/S0363‑8111(97)90023‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0363-8111(97)90023-0 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bhatia, Aditi
    2021 ‘The Discursive Construction of Legitimacy in the Abrogation of Indian Constitution’s Article 370’. Journal of Pragmatics1831: 132–141. 10.1016/j.pragma.2021.07.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.07.009 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bhatia, Vijay
    1993Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings. London and New York: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bik, Elisabeth M., Arturo Casadevall, and Ferric C. Fang
    2016 ‘The Prevalence of Inappropriate Image Duplication in Biomedical Research Publications’. MBio7 (3): e00809–16. 10.1128/mBio.00809‑16
    https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00809-16 [Google Scholar]
  10. Bondi, Marina
    2016 ‘The Future in Reports: Prediction, Commitment and Legitimization in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’. Pragmatics and Society7 (1): 57–81. 10.1075/ps.7.1.03bon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ps.7.1.03bon [Google Scholar]
  11. Brainard, Jeffrey, and Jia You
    2018 ‘What a Massive Database of Retracted Papers Reveals about Science Publishing’s “Death Penalty”’. Science. 25 October 2018. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/what-massive-database-retracted-papers-reveals-about-science-publishing-s-death-penalty
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Breeze, Ruth
    2012 ‘Legitimation in Corporate Discourse: Oil Corporations after Deepwater Horizon’. Discourse & Society23 (1): 3–18. 10.1177/0957926511431511
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926511431511 [Google Scholar]
  13. Budd, John M., MaryEllen Sievert, and Tom R. Schultz
    1998 ‘Phenomena of Retraction: Reasons for Retraction and Citations to the Publications’. JAMA280 (3): 296–297. 10.1001/jama.280.3.296
    https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.280.3.296 [Google Scholar]
  14. Carlisle, John
    2021 ‘False Individual Patient Data and Zombie Randomised Controlled Trials Submitted to Anaesthesia’. Anaesthesia76 (4): 472–479. 10.1111/anae.15263
    https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.15263 [Google Scholar]
  15. Coombs, Timothy
    2007 ‘Attribution Theory as a Guide for Post-Crisis Communication Research’. Public Relations Review33 (2): 135–139. 10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.016
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.016 [Google Scholar]
  16. COPE Council
    COPE Council 2019 ‘COPE Retraction Guidelines – English.’ Committee on Publication Ethics. https://publicationethics.org/files/cope-retraction-guidelines-v2.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Davis, Mark S., Michelle Riske-Morris, and Sebastian R. Diaz
    2007 ‘Causal Factors Implicated in Research Misconduct: Evidence from ORI Case Files’. Science and Engineering Ethics13 (4): 395–414. 10.1007/s11948‑007‑9045‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-007-9045-2 [Google Scholar]
  18. Davis, Philip
    2012 ‘The Persistence of Error: A Study of Retracted Articles on the Internet and in Personal Libraries’. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA100 (3): 184–189. 10.3163/1536‑5050.100.3.008
    https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.100.3.008 [Google Scholar]
  19. Fairclough, Norman
    1993 ‘Critical Discourse Analysis and the Marketization of Public Discourse: The Universities’. Discourse & Society4 (2): 133–168. 10.1177/0957926593004002002
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926593004002002 [Google Scholar]
  20. Fanelli, Daniele
    2013 ‘Why Growing Retractions Are (Mostly) a Good Sign’. PLOS Medicine10 (12): e1001563. 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001563
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001563 [Google Scholar]
  21. Fang, Ferric C., and Arturo Casadevall
    2011 ‘Retracted Science and the Retraction Index’. Infection and Immunity79 (10): 3855–3859. 10.1128/IAI.05661‑11
    https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.05661-11 [Google Scholar]
  22. Fang, Ferric C., R. Grant Steen, and Arturo Casadevall
    2012 ‘Misconduct Accounts for the Majority of Retracted Scientific Publications’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences109 (42): 17028–17033. 10.1073/pnas.1212247109
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212247109 [Google Scholar]
  23. Fuoli, Matteo, and Carita Paradis
    2014 ‘A Model of Trust-Repair Discourse’. Journal of Pragmatics741 (December): 52–69. 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.09.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.09.001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Furman, Jeffrey L., Kyle Jensen, and Fiona Murray
    2012 ‘Governing Knowledge in the Scientific Community: Exploring the Role of Retractions in Biomedicine’. Research Policy41 (2): 276–290. 10.1016/j.respol.2011.11.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2011.11.001 [Google Scholar]
  25. Grieneisen, Michael L., and Minghua Zhang
    2012 ‘A Comprehensive Survey of Retracted Articles from the Scholarly Literature’. PLOS One7 (10): e44118. 10.1371/journal.pone.0044118
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044118 [Google Scholar]
  26. Haggan, Madeline
    2004 ‘Research Paper Titles in Literature, Linguistics and Science: Dimensions of Attraction’. Journal of Pragmatics36 (2): 293–317. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(03)00090‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(03)00090-0 [Google Scholar]
  27. Hahn, Rüdiger, and Regina Lülfs
    2014 ‘Legitimizing Negative Aspects in GRI-Oriented Sustainability Reporting: A Qualitative Analysis of Corporate Disclosure Strategies’. Journal of Business Ethics123 (3): 401–420. 10.1007/s10551‑013‑1801‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1801-4 [Google Scholar]
  28. Hesselmann, Felicitas, and Martin Reinhart
    2019 ‘Science Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry? Apologies for Scientific Misconduct’. Science Communication41 (5): 552–579. 10.1177/1075547019860848
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1075547019860848 [Google Scholar]
  29. Hesselmann, Felicitas, Verena Graf, Marion Schmidt, and Martin Reinhart
    2017 ‘The Visibility of Scientific Misconduct: A Review of the Literature on Retracted Journal Articles’. Current Sociology65 (6): 814–845. 10.1177/0011392116663807
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392116663807 [Google Scholar]
  30. Ho, Victor
    2021 ‘Denial in Managerial Responses: Forms, Targets and Discourse Environment’. Journal of Pragmatics1761 (April): 124–136. 10.1016/j.pragma.2021.01.030
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.01.030 [Google Scholar]
  31. House, Juliane, and Dániel Z. Kádár
    2021 ‘German and Japanese War Crime Apologies: A Contrastive Pragmatic Study’. Journal of Pragmatics1771: 109–121. 10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  32. Hu, Guangwei, and Shaoxiong (Brian) Xu
    2020 ‘Agency and Responsibility: A Linguistic Analysis of Culpable Acts in Retraction Notices’. Lingua, September, 102954. 10.1016/j.lingua.2020.102954
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2020.102954 [Google Scholar]
  33. Hyland, Ken
    2005Metadiscourse: Exploring Interaction in Writing. London and New York: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. ICMJE
    ICMJE 1988 ‘Retraction of Research Findings’. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.)296 (6619): 400. 10.1136/bmj.296.6619.400
    https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.296.6619.400 [Google Scholar]
  35. Ioannidis, John
    2021 ‘Hundreds of Thousands of Zombie Randomised Trials Circulate among Us’. Anaesthesia76 (4): 444–447. 10.1111/anae.15297
    https://doi.org/10.1111/anae.15297 [Google Scholar]
  36. Kotzin, Sheldon, and Peri L. Schuyler
    1989 ‘NLM’s Practices for Handling Errata and Retractions.’ Bulletin of the Medical Library Association77 (4): 337–42.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Ledford, Heidi, and Richard Van Noorden
    2020 ‘High-Profile Coronavirus Retractions Raise Concerns about Data Oversight’. Nature582 (7811): 160–160. 10.1038/d41586‑020‑01695‑w
    https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01695-w [Google Scholar]
  38. Lin, Yuting
    2019 ‘Legitimating Negative Aspects in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: Evidence from China’. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication62 (3): 263–278. 10.1109/TPC.2019.2913917
    https://doi.org/10.1109/TPC.2019.2913917 [Google Scholar]
  39. 2020 ‘Communicating Bad News in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Genre-Based Analysis of Chinese Companies’. Discourse & Communication14 (1): 22–43. 10.1177/1750481319876770
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481319876770 [Google Scholar]
  40. 2021 ‘Legitimation Strategies in Corporate Discourse: A Comparison of UK and Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility Reports’. Journal of Pragmatics1771: 157–169. 10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.009 [Google Scholar]
  41. Lin, Yuting and Meilin Chen
    2022 ‘“The More Important Findings Are Sustained”: A Diachronic Perspective on the Genre of the Retraction Notice’. English for Specific Purposes671: 18–30. 10.1016/j.esp.2022.03.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2022.03.002 [Google Scholar]
  42. Lu, Susan Feng, Ginger Zhe Jin, Brian Uzzi, and Benjamin Jones
    2013 ‘The Retraction Penalty: Evidence from the Web of Science’. Scientific Reports3 (1): 1–5. 10.1038/srep03146
    https://doi.org/10.1038/srep03146 [Google Scholar]
  43. Merkl-Davies, Doris, and Niamh Brennan
    2007 ‘Discretionary Disclosure Strategies in Corporate Narratives: Incremental Information or Impression Management?’ Journal of Accounting Literature261: 116–194.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Michalek, Arthur M., Alan D. Hutson, Camille P. Wicher, and Donald L. Trump
    2010 ‘The Costs and Underappreciated Consequences of Research Misconduct: A Case Study’. PLOS Medicine7 (8): e1000318. 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000318
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000318 [Google Scholar]
  45. Mongeon, Philippe, and Vincent Larivière
    2016 ‘Costly Collaborations: The Impact of Scientific Fraud on Co-Authors’ Careers’. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology67 (3): 535–542. 10.1002/asi.23421
    https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23421 [Google Scholar]
  46. Oddo, J.
    2011 ‘War Legitimation Discourse: Representing “Us” and “Them” in Four US Presidential Addresses’. Discourse & Society22 (3): 287–314. 10.1177/0957926510395442
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926510395442 [Google Scholar]
  47. Oransky, Ivan
    2020 ‘List of Retracted COVID-19 Papers Grows Past 70’. Retraction Watch (blog). 30 December 2020. https://retractionwatch.com/2020/12/30/list-of-retracted-covid-19-papers-grows-past-70/
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Page, Ruth
    2014 ‘Saying “Sorry”: Corporate Apologies Posted on Twitter’. Journal of Pragmatics621 (February): 30–45. 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.12.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.12.003 [Google Scholar]
  49. Redman, Barbara K., Hossein N. Yarandi, and Jon F. Merz
    2008 ‘Empirical Developments in Retraction’. Journal of Medical Ethics34 (11): 807–809. 10.1136/jme.2007.023069
    https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2007.023069 [Google Scholar]
  50. Resnik, David B., and C. Neal Stewart
    2012 ‘Misconduct versus Honest Error and Scientific Disagreement’. Accountability in Research19 (1): 56–63. 10.1080/08989621.2012.650948
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2012.650948 [Google Scholar]
  51. Resnik, David B., Elizabeth Wager, and Grace E. Kissling
    2015 ‘Retraction Policies of Top Scientific Journals Ranked by Impact Factor’. Journal of the Medical Library Association103 (3): 136–139. 10.3163/1536‑5050.103.3.006
    https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.006 [Google Scholar]
  52. Snodgrass, G. L., and M. P. Pfeifer
    1992 ‘The Characteristics of Medical Retraction Notices.’ Bulletin of the Medical Library Association80 (4): 328–334.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Steen, R. Grant
    2011 ‘Retractions in the Medical Literature: How Many Patients Are Put at Risk by Flawed Research?’ Journal of Medical Ethics37 (11): 688–692. 10.1136/jme.2011.043133
    https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2011.043133 [Google Scholar]
  54. Stern, Andrew M., Arturo Casadevall, R. Grant Steen, and Ferric C. Fang
    2014 ‘Financial Costs and Personal Consequences of Research Misconduct Resulting in Retracted Publications’. Edited byPeter Rodgers. ELife31 (August): e02956. 10.7554/eLife.02956
    https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02956 [Google Scholar]
  55. Suchman, Mark
    1995 ‘Managing Legitimacy: Strategic and Institutional Approaches’. The Academy of Management Review20 (3): 571–610. 10.2307/258788
    https://doi.org/10.2307/258788 [Google Scholar]
  56. Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A., and Judit Dobránszki
    2017 ‘Notices and Policies for Retractions, Expressions of Concern, Errata and Corrigenda: Their Importance, Content, and Context’. Science and Engineering Ethics23 (2): 521–554. 10.1007/s11948‑016‑9769‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-016-9769-y [Google Scholar]
  57. The Office of Research Integrity
    The Office of Research Integrity. n.d. ‘Definition of Research Misconduct | ORI – The Office of Research Integrity’. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed8 June 2021.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. The Retraction Watch
    The Retraction Watch. (n.d.). ‘The Retraction Watch Database’. retractiondatabase.org/RetractionSearch.aspx? (Accessed1 August 2020).
  59. Van Leeuwen, Theo
    1995The Grammar of Legitimation. London: School of Printing, School of Media.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. van Dijk, Teun A.
    2005 ‘War Rhetoric of a Little Ally: Political Implicatures and Aznar’s Legitimatization of the War in Iraq’. Journal of Language and Politics4 (1): 65–91. 10.1075/jlp.4.1.04dij
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.4.1.04dij [Google Scholar]
  61. Vuong, Quan-Hoang
    2020 ‘The Limitations of Retraction Notices and the Heroic Acts of Authors Who Correct the Scholarly Record: An Analysis of Retractions of Papers Published from 1975 to 2019’. Learned Publishing33 (2): 119–130. 10.1002/leap.1282
    https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1282 [Google Scholar]
  62. Wager, Elizabeth, and Peter Williams
    2011 ‘Why and How Do Journals Retract Articles? An Analysis of Medline Retractions 1988–2008’. Journal of Medical Ethics37 (9): 567–570. 10.1136/jme.2010.040964
    https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2010.040964 [Google Scholar]
  63. Williams, Peter, and Elizabeth Wager
    2013 ‘Exploring Why and How Journal Editors Retract Articles: Findings from a Qualitative Study’. Science and Engineering Ethics19 (1): 1–11. 10.1007/s11948‑011‑9292‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-011-9292-0 [Google Scholar]
  64. Wright, Kath, and Catriona McDaid
    2011 ‘Reporting of Article Retractions in Bibliographic Databases and Online Journals’. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA99 (2): 164–167. 10.3163/1536‑5050.99.2.010
    https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.99.2.010 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/ps.22008.lin
Loading
/content/journals/10.1075/ps.22008.lin
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error