Retraction Watch as part of keeping their database of retractions up to date, they’ve been publishing a running list of COVID-19 papers that have been retracted. Retraction Watch divided the list of retractions into three groups: Retracted, Retracted due to journal error, and Retracted and reinstated. Those in the last category have simply been replaced without notice.
The most spectacular flameouts involved a pair of articles that appeared in two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. Both The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine were forced to remove articles that relied on data from a questionable firm called Surgisphere, which refused to share its results with coauthors and the editors involved, leading to the suspension of clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine.
PLOS ONE issued an expression of concern for a paper it published in September suggesting that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19.after an epidemiologist in Sydney who pointed out, among other issues, that the study relied on a small number of patients and appeared to show a null result. If lack of data was a problem for some papers, others suffered from a complete lack of common sense. Like this article, which claimed that COVID-19 resulted from 5G telecom energy. The quickly retracted paper earned the title of the “worst paper of 2020” from data-sleuth Elisabeth Bik.
Cellular & Molecular Immunology took three days to accept a paper about how COVID-19 might infect white blood cells—similar to HIV’s strategy—and then took three months to retract it after a researcher sent them a letter critiquing the study.
The retractions “are great examples of why science needs more of a ‘In God We Trust, everyone else needs to show their data’ approach,” said Ivan Oransky, vice president of editorial at Medscape and co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog.