High Impact Factor Journals Have Higher Retraction Rates

Very interesting New York Times article about the rise of frauds and retractions in High Impact Factor journals. The retraction rates for High IF journals (such as Science, Cell, and Nature) are much higher than lower IF journals.

From the article:

Journals with higher impact factors retract papers more often than those with lower impact factors. It’s not clear why. It could be that these prominent periodicals have more, and more careful, readers, who notice mistakes. But there’s another explanation: Scientists view high-profile journals as the pinnacle of success — and they’ll cut corners, or worse, for a shot at glory.

I would say that this is sad, but this is a consequence of the currently terrible funding climate and unreasonable expectations of study sections. If study sections dismiss grant writers because of an unreasonable expectation of past productivity, then it shouldn’t be surprising that the drive to make oneself look productive actively encourages fraud to get ahead.