Is gold open access helpful for academic purification? A causal inference analysis based on retracted articles in biochemistry

Authors : Er-Te Zheng, Zhichao Fang, Hui-Zhen Fu

The relationship between transparency and credibility has long been a subject of theoretical and analytical exploration within the realm of social sciences, and it has recently attracted increasing attention in the context of scientific research. Retraction serves as a pivotal mechanism in addressing concerns about research integrity.

This study aims to empirically examining the relationship between open access level and the effectiveness of current mechanism, specifically academic purification centered on retracted articles. In this study, we used matching and Difference-in-Difference (DiD) methods to examine whether gold open access is helpful for academic purification in biochemistry field.

We collected gold open access (Gold OA) and non-open access (non-OA) biochemistry retracted articles as the treatment group, and matched them with corresponding unretracted articles as the control group from 2005 to 2021 based on Web of Science and Retraction Watch database.

The results showed that compared to non-OA, Gold OA is advantageous in reducing the retraction time of flawed articles, but does not demonstrate a significant advantage in reducing citations after retraction. This indicates that Gold OA may help expedite the detection and retraction of flawed articles, ultimately promoting the practice of responsible research.