Peer reviewed scientific papers are taken as the Gold Standard in the science community. However, it is surprising how often “science fails” and papers are published that later have to be retracted.
For example, as of the time of writing, over 100 papers relating to Covid-19 have been retracted, that’s around two per week. Papers include:
- Use of Hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19
- Effectiveness of face masks and Covid-19
- Impact of Vitamin D on covid-19
- Smoking and Covid-19
Of course the secondary danger is that retracted papers are cited in other research. Astonishingly, in some cases, the number of citations is higher AFTER a paper has been retracted. Currently the number one retracted, cited paper concerns Cardiovascular disease and the Mediteranean diet, which made the powerful conclusion:
…we observed that an energy-unrestricted Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events among high-risk persons….
The claim is out there and a new industry to promote the Mediteranean diet was born.
The above highlights are taken from the excellent site RetractionWatch. They collect stats and have a searchable database of retracted papers. For those working in labs or other research, this is a valuable resource.