Retractions data update: corrections to misattributed retractions

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Jason Portenoy

Mar 19, 2024, 1:59:28 PMMar 19
to OpenAlex users
Dear OpenAlex community,

It's been brought to our attention that we were mischaracterizing some of the data from Retraction Watch—h/t to Serhii Nazarovets and Christian Hauschke at TIB for pointing this out. Specifically, we were labeling works `is_retracted` when in fact they had just received corrections or expressions of concern. This affected around 2.3k works. The issue is now corrected—the works are no longer marked as retracted—and we will soon have a way of reporting the more nuanced data from Retraction Watch not covered by the is_retracted binary field.

Anyone working with OpenAlex data around retracted works should be aware of the following:
The incorrect (false positives) is_retracted data may appear in:
  • data collected from the API between December 22, 2023 and March 19, 2024
  • data snapshot releases: 2024-01-24 and 2024-02-27
Prior to December 22, 2023, retraction watch data had not been included in OpenAlex. As of now (March 19, 2024), the errors have been corrected.

We apologize for this, and we're very glad to be able to have these discussions out in the open, and fix problems as quickly as possible!

Kaveh Bazargan

Mar 22, 2024, 8:29:02 AMMar 22
to Jason Portenoy, OpenAlex users
Thank you for this. As a related note, I know that there is not a good standard for publishers reporting the following:
  • Retraction
  • Correction
  • Expression of Concern
  • etc.
I know that folks in Crossref are keen that we have a good standard that ensures reliable data going forward.


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Kaveh Bazargan PhD
Accelerating the Communication of Research

Jason Portenoy

Mar 22, 2024, 8:29:47 AMMar 22
to OpenAlex users
Thank you Kaveh. We will keep an eye out for updates about this from Crossref.
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