There has been a 20-25 percent increase in retractions in a total of 10,000 medical and science journals in the past five years (it’s now up to 500-600 retractions per year). Data has been distorted, faked, and the methods of getting to data have been misreported. Is the problem greater dishonesty by scientists, poorer quality reviews by peers, or new tools for detecting plagiarism and other forms of dishonesty? Greater pressure to get attention for new “discoveries”? Or all those and more?
Of course this problem is being researched systematically and tips are being submitted to sites like Retraction Watch and MedPage Today.
You can read more about the problem at:
Do you think the same problem occurs in social science journals?
Could you suggest some adaptations of the peer review process to lessen this problem?