To evaluate the frequency and reason for retraction of ophthalmology publications.
Two independent reviewers retrieved data from PubMed and Medline using appropriate keywords. Statistical analysis was carried out using Mann-Whitney U test. A total of 83 articles were selected for the analysis between 1994 and 2019. Articles were retracted after a median of 1 year (IQR 4.0), and 55 (66.3%) articles were published in the year 2010 or after.
Forty-eight (57.8%) articles were original articles. The most common subspecialties involved were basic science (51.8%), followed by vitreoretinal diseases (13.3%) and cornea and external diseases (7.1%). Fraudulent data were the cause of retraction in 22 (26.5%) articles, and 14 articles (16.87%) were retracted because of plagiarism. Thirteen articles (15.7%) were retracted due to errors in the data calculations, and ten (12.04%) were found to be duplicate submissions of previously published articles by the same author, while five articles (6.02%) had authorship disputes. Thirty-nine (46.9%) retracted articles were published in a journal with an impact factor greater than 2. The median number of citations received by the retracted articles was 2.0 (IQR 9.0).
We conclude that the number of retractions in the ophthalmic literature have increased since 2010, though relatively limited information is available on the retracted articles. There is a need to strictly follow the current guidelines for providing the reasons for retraction and displaying retraction notices both in PubMed and on the journal websites.