Yesterday, I asked a question in Academia.SE: Are there any scientific papers that were retracted by the publisher due to the reader comments?
Disclaimer: I am not racist, and I am fully aware that this paper was written with crooked intentions. I do not approve the motivation of the authors who published this study.
With this said, I genuinely wondered whether there are any other publications that were retracted with the same official reason:
because of the sources cited within the article, and critical comments from readers.
Wrzlprmft stated in the comments:
I am closing this question because:
- Taken literally, it asks for a list with no best answer.
- The next best question is whether this is commonly accepted practice, however, until the retraction notice is published, it is not clear what this is.
- Even then, the question must outline clear criteria on the answers to avoid being overrun with people sharing their opinion on the retraction.
So, I looked up some questions. Those are the ones I immediately found when I typed "are there" in the search box:
- Are there any trustworthy Mathematics fee-based open access journals?
- Are there any examples of legal issues with academic fraud?
- Are there any guidelines for labeling axes in plots/graphs?
- Are there any researcher digital identification services or directories, similar to ORCID and ResearcherID?
Which tells me that (1) is not really a reason to close a question.
Also, (2) is plain wrong, because in the very same link I have posted, there is official retraction announcement, and I have written that verbatim in the question.
As for (3), I am willing to give examples from the top questions in Academia.SE:
- How should I deal with discouragement as a graduate student?
- How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?
- How to avoid being falsely accused of harassment by a student?
- How to read papers without falling into a rabbit hole?
None of those questions meet the criterion: “[T]he question must outline clear criteria on the answers to avoid being overrun with people sharing their opinion.”
Bryan Krauses comments encouraged me to check some questions that are answered by the users who voted to close my question for opinion-based:
- What are some good ways to keep students coming to lectures?
- Reasons for not releasing bottom-line answers to old exam questions?
- How to avoid and address a lack of gender diversity in grant proposals?
- What am I being paid for? (postdoc)
- How to write the data section when data is reused from a previous work?
- I believe my PhD dissertation was unfairly graded too low (cum laude): what should I do?
- I got the following comment from a reputed math journal. What does it mean?
If the above questions are not opinion-based, I firmly believe that my question is very much not opinion based.
I asked the question over a simple debate with my colleagues. They claimed that there are many papers retracted without any solid reason, I claimed that there should be at least one clear reason or the follow-up actions should be taken.
By follow-up actions I mean:
- Re-evaluation of all the publications that took the approval of the same reviewers and editors.
- If the sources used are not credible (as in the official notice), then the papers those are based on those resources, in which 15 of them are published by Elsevier, should also be retracted.
- It should be clearly stated that why are the resources not credible, and how was it determined after eight whole years. Because the paper in question is a survey paper, and one cannot claim it was falsified data because the data they provide were already published many years ago.
- I have formed my question very well, and clear.
- This is a genuine question, stated out of curiosity, without any provocation or comments on the matter.
- The answer to my question can be one example, or many examples. There is absolutely no restriction in the rules of the site which states that I cannot ask a question of which answers can be many.
- None of the reasons that were stated as the reasons for closing are accurate (see above).
Why was my question voted to close, and was closed by one of the moderators? Has Academia SE become a place where we cannot even ask questions due to current political situations?