Calls for retraction of scientific opinion are unscientific
Research papers with fraudulent data do not contribute to the advancement of science and should be retracted because they mislead scientific enquiry.
Scientific opinion pieces and papers without primary data, however misguided, contribute to scientific discussion, help to sort the ‘wheat from chaff’ and hence should not be retracted.
Scientific discussion helps to advance science. Calls for retraction, particularly from those in eminent positions, are unscientific and frankly disturbing. The BMJ and other journals should provide a ‘right to reply’ but should have a formal policy of strongly discouraging calls for retraction of non-fraudulent papers . .
1 Teicholz N. The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific? The BMJ 2015;351:h4962. doi:10.1136/bmj.h4962
2 Abrams S. BMJ Retraction Letter. http://cspinet.org/bmj-retraction-letter.html (accessed 20 Nov2015).
3 Bloom T. Response from The BMJ. The BMJ Published Online First: 19 November 2015.http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4962/rr-37 (accessed 20 Nov2015).
Competing interests: No competing interests