Post-retraction Citations in Korean Medical Journals

Sun Huh,1 Hyun Jung Yi,2 Hye-Min Cho,3 Soo Young Kim4


The aim of this study was to identify post-retraction citations of articles in Korean medical journals indexed in the KoreaMed database and to investigate whether post-retraction citations depended on whether the retraction notice was made via PDF or the homepage. Although some studies have been conducted on the extent of post-retraction citations among PubMed-indexed articles, to our knowledge, no studies have evaluated whether this tendency differs among countries.


Retracted articles from the KoreaMed database were collected on January 28, 2016, and PDF files were obtained, along with citation information on the journal homepage. At the time of the study, KoreaMed contained 254,000 citations from 242 medical journals published in Korea. The linkage between the retracted article and the notice was the same as has been used for PubMed. The Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus were searched for post-retraction citations, which were defined as citations 1 year after the retraction, excluding retraction-related citations, considering the time to publication after submission. For each article, it was recorded whether the retraction announcement was present on the journal homepage and/or in the PDF.


A total of 114 retracted articles in Korean medical journals were found using the KoreaMed database. On the journal homepage, retraction announcements were present for 47 of the 114 retracted articles (41.2%). Six articles (5.3%) contained a retraction announcement in the PDF. Of these 6 articles, 5 also had indications in the HTML file. There was no indication of retraction in 66 articles. Among the 114 retracted articles, 39 were cited in the Web of Science Core Collection (mean [SD] number of citations, 4.2 [4.4]; median number of citations, 2 [range, 1–19]), including a mean (SD) number of post-retraction citations of 2.4 (3.5) (median number of citations, 1 [range, 0-18]), and 41 were cited in Scopus (mean [SD] number of citations, 4.3 [3.9]; median number of citations, 3 [range, 1-18]), including a mean (SD) number of post-retraction citations of 2.6 (2.8) (median number of citations, 1 [range, 0-11]). In Web of Science, of the 134 total citations, 93 (69.4%) occurred 1 year after the retraction. In Scopus, of the 169 citations, 107 (63.3%) were post-retraction citations (Table). Whether the retraction announcement was made in the PDF or on the homepage did not influence post-retraction citations.


Post-retraction citations are very common in Korean medical journals indexed in KoreaMed. The exact reason is difficult to understand, and efforts should be made to identify the cause and to correct it.

1Department of Parasitology and Institute of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea; 2Medical Library, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea; 3InfoLumi Co, Seongnam, Korea; 4Department of Family Medicine, Gangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea, hallymfm@gmail.com

Conflict of Interest Disclosures:

H.-M. Cho is employed by InfoLumi Co. No other conflicts were reported.


InfoLumi Co provided support in the form of a salary for H.-M. Cho but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.