Innovating to improve research integrity

How we’re expanding support for dealing with editorial expressions of concern and retractions

Research integrity is a key part of our mission at Clarivate to be a trusted, indispensable partner to innovators everywhere. Our research data, insights and analysis are used by the world’s top research institutions, by multiple governments and by national research agencies for global research assessment, which gives us a responsibility to monitor and act where we can to ensure the integrity of our data. Because of this, we are deeply concerned by potential sources of disruption to the scientific literature and research integrity.

However, this global issue can’t be solved by one organization alone. In 2020, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Global Research Report on Research Integrity found that upholding research integrity must be a joint effort performed by research institutions, funders, publishers and database providers. Each must take steps to ensure the validity, accuracy and overall authenticity of scholarly output.

Researchers also have their own part to play. Of course, aside from a tiny minority involved in manipulating results or other types of unethical behavior for their personal gain, researchers are keen to publish work that has been subject to rigorous peer review and can be reproduced. No one wants to erroneously cite or build on research that has since been withdrawn, subject to an editorial expression of concern or retracted, but it hasn’t always been easy to tell. This is where we can help.


What is new for the Web of Science?

The Web of Science™ has long identified retracted material for researchers, so that it can be easily removed from literature searches. However, a retraction is not the only way an article can change after publication – it may also be voluntarily withdrawn by the authors, or subject to an editorial expression of concern, which is an editorial statement alerting readers to serious concerns with the published paper. These articles can sometimes be rectified by a correction, and remain published within the literature, or may later be withdrawn or retracted.

We are now expanding this support so that researchers can easily identify articles that have been subject to an editorial expression of concern or withdrawal, to better differentiate this material from articles which are retracted by distinctly indexing editorial expressions of concern and withdrawn items.


What is new for EndNote?

We’re pleased to announce that Clarivate has partnered with The Center For Scientific Integrity, the parent nonprofit of Retraction Watch to identify retracted journal articles stored within EndNote™ desktop libraries quickly. EndNote 20.2 now dynamically scans the papers in active libraries for retractions based on their DOI or PubMed ID, and automatically highlights retracted articles for the user.

When EndNote 20 identifies a retracted publication based on Retraction Watch data, logged-in users can expand an alert within the system to learn the reasons behind the retraction.  You can also click the “read more” link to visit the publisher’s website for further retraction notice details.

We very much hope that these changes will make a real difference to the community. Published materials may change over time, as genuine mistakes become clear or previously unseen limitations in the data emerge; these innovations will help the research community to sort unreliable research from their literature reviews and ensure that the next generation of transformational discoveries rely on research with a sound scientific base.


Download EndNote 20.2 for new retraction alerts.


Dr. Nandita Quaderi is Editor-in-Chief and Editorial VP of the Web of Science™, Clarivate. Nandita has a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Imperial College (London) and spent time during her post-doctoral fellowship cloning a gene, MID1, which causes a rare birth defect called Opitz syndrome. Prior to Clarivate, she worked in editorial leadership roles at BMC and Nature Research.