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The two major trends identified in this review have distinct research agendas as
well as different perspectives and assumptions. In our opinion, the independencies
of such trends at a strategic level are desirable at initial stages of these emerging
trends so as to maximize the knowledge gain that is unlikely to be achieved by a
single line of research alone. In a long run, more trends are expected to emerge from
probably the least expected perspectives. Existing trends may be accommodated by
new levels of integration. We expect that safety and uncertainty will remain to be
the central concern of regenerative medicine.
The reproducibility of the results in a scientific article is a major cornerstone
of science. If fellow scientists follow the procedure described in a scientific
publication, would they be able to reproduce the same results in the original
publication? If not, why not? The publication of a scientific article is subject to the
scrutiny of fellow scientists, the authors' own institutions, and everyone who may
be concerned, including patients, physicians, and regulatory bodies of guidelines.
The retraction of a scientific article is a formal action that is taken to purge the
article from the scientific literature on the ground that the article in question is not
trustworthy and therefore disqualified to be part of the intellectual basis of scientific
knowledge. Retraction is a self-correction mechanism of the scientific community.
Scientific articles can be retracted for a variety of reasons, ranging from self-
plagiarism, editorial errors, to scientific misconduct, which may include fabrication
and falsification of data and results. The consequences of these diverse types
of mistakes differ. Some are easier to detect than others. For example, clinical
studies contaminated by fabrications of data or results may directly risk the safety
of patients, whereas publishing a set of valid results simultaneously in multiple
journals is not ethical but nonetheless less likely to harm patients directly. On the
one hand, some retracted articles may remain to be controversial even after their
retraction. For example, Lancet partially retracted a 1998 paper (Wakefield et al.
1998 ) that suggested a possible link between a combination of vaccines against
measles, mumps, and rubella and autism. The ultimate full retraction of the Lancet
article didn't come until 2010. On the other hand, the influence of other retracted
articles may come to an end more abruptly after their retraction, for example, the
fabricated stem cell clone by Woo-Suk Hwang (Kakuk 2009 ).
The rate of retraction from the scientific literature appears to be increasing. For
example, retractions in MEDLINE were found to have increased sharply since 1980
and reasons for retraction included errors or non-reproducible findings (40 %),
research misconduct (28 %), redundant publication (17 %) and unstated/unclear
(5 %) (Wager and Williams 2011 ). We verified the increase of retraction in PubMed
on 3/29/2012. As shown in Fig. 8.10 , the total number of annual publications
in PubMed increased from slightly more than 543,000 articles in 2001 to more
than 984,000 articles in 2011. The increase is remarkably steady, by about 45,000