It looks like I am about to have a paper retracted. It was due to a misunderstanding about data use permissions, not misconduct or plagiarism. How badly will this impact my career?

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    Probably not much. It might not even be noticed when you're applying for jobs - you're not usually asked to point it out, and it's unlikely someone would search for it. If you're a grad student and made this mistake relying on your advisor, it doesn't really say anything about you. But most academic job markets are highly competitive, and it's usually best to always assume that your chances at an academic career are slim in the first place. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 1:04
  • The answer depends entirely on the details of specific your situation, which, for perfectly understandable reasons, you might not be able or willing to share.
    – Tripartio
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 10:28
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    Retractions can (and should!) happen even without misconduct and plagiarism. If you make a paper, make a mistake, and the admit to your mistake, that is ok. No one assumes academics are a rare breed of humans that can't make mistakes. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 11:26
  • @AnderBiguri In general, yes. But I can certainly introduce you to a few that are certain they can't :-)
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 21:26

1 Answer 1



Here's an example of a retracted paper. The lead author is Barbara Yankey, who is currently a clinical assistant professor at Georgia State University (webpage).

Misconduct or plagiarism will do major damage to your career, but simple mistakes happen. You move on.

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    Her current position (like many titled 'clinical assistant professor') is non-tenure-track and focused on teaching. I think it's an important job which merits more status (and pay) than she is probably getting, but the OP might not consider it an academic career of the kind they are interested in. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 5:02

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