During the past decade, the number of retractions increased dramatically, even when normalized by the total number of articles published in life science journals (see Figure below).
Focusing on retracted articles related to drug discovery processes, we asked the question whether some problems that eventually resulted in the retraction of published findings could have been prevented by implementation of Good Scientific Practice (GSP) standards and guidelines:
Our database comprised retractions found on PubMed published between 01/2013 and 01/2016. Based on the retraction notices given, the retractions were sorted into different categories such as Fraud and MisconductPlagiarism and DuplicationGood Scientific Practice and Review Process compromised. GSP-related articles were further divided into different subcategories (e.g. Key reagentsData storage,Study designStatisticsData handlingContaminations, etc.).
Preliminary results of our analysis indicate that around one quarter (~25%) of all retractions belonging to the pre-clinical drug discovery field have been retracted due to violations of Good Scientific Practice. The full report including the detailed analysis and explanation will be published soon.