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Library Guide to Academic Publishing: Journal Article Retraction

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 journal's editor and/or 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.

Retractions may occur because of

  • 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


  • Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2021). Retraction Guidelines.
  • National Science Foundation (n.d.).  Key regulations.

Locate retracted articles

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.

Database Search

Some databases may have an option to search for retracted, corrected, or republished articles. These are a few examples of where to look for these limiters.


In the Publication Type box, click on Corrected Article.

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

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

APA PsycInfo:

In the Document Type box, click on the following:

  • Erratum/Correction
  • Retraction

In a database or Google Scholar search, try using these keywords in a search:

"Retracted article" or retracted or "retraction notice"

Quotes tell the database to look for these words in this exact order.

Or tells the database to look for any of these items. This helps find different variations.

Look at the article to make sure it has been retracted. You may also find articles that talk about the general concept of retraction.

Example of a retracted article

"Reports the retraction of 'No glove, no love: General intelligence predicts increased likelihood of condom use in response to HIV threat' by Sean T. H. Lee, Norman P. Li, Andrea L. Meltzer, Nadhilla V. Melia and Hui Si Oh (Personality and Individual Differences, 2020[Apr][15], Vol 157[109813]). 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."