Checking BibTeX files against the Retraction Watch database

Posted by Adrian Barnett on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Last week I saw Alison Avenell give a great talk titled “Improving the integrity of published research: How, when, and if?’’ This was on her experience of finding fraudulent papers and what actions the journals took to correct the record – which was too often nothing.

One of Alison’s recommendations was to avoid inadvertently citing retracted papers by checking against the wonderful Retraction Watch database. For those using reference management software such as Zotero this is already done for you.

I write most papers in LaTeX or Overleaf which means my references are in BibTeX and hence do not get checked against Retraction Watch. So I have written an app (available here) that extracts the DOIs from a BibTeX file and checks them against the latest Retraction Watch database.

Retraction Watch are a vital resource in research integrity and their “Weekend reads” are a must read. I am also grateful that Crossref make accessing the database super easy.