Evolution and characterization of health sciences paper retractions in Brazil and Portugal

Cristina Candal-Pedreira, Alberto Ruano-Ravina, Julia Rey-Brandariz, Nerea Mourino, Sofia Ravara, Pedro Aguiar, Mónica Pérez-Ríos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The retraction of health sciences publications is a growing concern. To understand the patterns in a particular country-context and design specific measures to address the problem, it is important to describe and characterize retractions. We aimed to assess the evolution of health science retractions in Brazil and Portugal and to describe their features. We conducted a cross-sectional study including all health sciences retracted articles with at least one author affiliated to a Portuguese or Brazilian institution identified through Retraction Watch database. A total of 182 retracted articles were identified. The number of retractions increased over time, but the proportion related to the whole of publications remained stable. A total of 50.0% and 60.8% of the Portuguese and Brazilian retracted articles, respectively, were published in first and second quartile journals. Scientific misconduct accounted for 60.1% and 55.9% of retractions in Brazil and Portugal. In both countries, the most frequent cause of misconduct was plagiarism. The time from publication to retraction decreases as the journal quartile increases. The retraction of health sciences articles did not decrease over time in Brazil and Portugal. There is a need to develop strategies aimed at preventing, monitoring and managing scientific misconduct according to the country context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAccountability in Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Brazil
  • Portugal
  • Retractions
  • scientific misconduct


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