Publication Retractions Take YEARS to Appear in PubMed

Performing a complex literature review can be challenging; taking into account whether the resulting articles have been retracted, have erratum or have been corrected and republished makes the task even more difficult.

Researchers in Lyon, France found that the time-lag between articles being pulled from a journal and being noted as retracted in PubMed is nearly three years.  (Read the paper, “What time-lag for a retraction search on PubMed?” here.)

Several online publications track news of retractions and may help alert you to recently retracted articles.

If you’ve set up a personal account in My NCBI you can add filters to show the number of retracted publications on the side menu in your search results.  You can also set up alerts for your research topic and have emails sent to you when citations are indexed as “retracted.”  Haven’t set up a My NCBI account yet?  Ask your friendly librarian for help or watch this tutorial from NLM.

NLM’s official fact sheet on retractions and errata may be found here.



About Sharon Leslie

Sharon is the subject librarian for Nutrition, Physical Therapy, Public Health, and Respiratory Therapy. She is available for research consultations by contacting her at or 404-413-2855.
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