May 16, 2022

Report: New Bot Flags Scientific Studies that Cite Retracted Papers

From Nature Index:

An automated tool is targeting an issue that has plagued science for decades: retracted studies cited in newly published papers without acknowledgement that they have been pulled from the literature.

Launched in November, Scite Reference Check scans new article PDFs for references to retracted papers, and posts both the citing and retracted papers on Twitter. It also flags when new studies cite older ones that have issued corrections, errata, withdrawals, or expressions of concern.


Dutch publisher Elsevier has a tool that automatically extracts citations from articles at the submission stage and validates them with PubMed, Crossref, and Scopus. An additional tool, which generates a specific alert for retracted citations, is under development.

Another team led by Ben Goldacre, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in the UK, is developing a similar tool called RetractoBot. And the Minsk-based firm RedacTek is creating a retraction analysis tool that assigns a ‘retraction association value’, which is calculated by measuring the retraction status of primary, secondary and tertiary citations.

For those who just want to check a small number of references, the free-to-use database Open Retractions allows users to manually check if a specific article has been retracted, revised, updated, or had a note of concern published about it.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

See Also: Report: “Retracted Scientific Paper Persists in New Citations, Study Finds” (January 8, 2021)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.