“Around that time we realized the world lacked a comprehensive database of retractions. We saw how many were missing from sources researchers used, whether PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, or others – including Crossref, more about which I will say in a moment. We were cataloging them in spreadsheets ourselves, but couldn’t keep up.
The three foundations all agreed to support our work, not just the journalism, but to create what became The Retraction Watch Database, officially launched in 2018. Part of that funding was a grant to create a strategic plan for sustainability and growth. One of the pillars of that plan was licensing the Database to organizations – commercial and nonprofit – who could use it in products that would help researchers know when what they were reading had been retracted, among other purposes.
Those license fees – along with other income, particularly individual donations and a subcontract from a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) – have kept Retraction Watch and The Center for Scientific Integrity running for several years. We are deeply grateful for the support and show of confidence they represent.
But we also always wanted to make the Database available to as many people as possible, whether or not they had access to tools that licensed it, if we could find a financial model that did not rely on such fees. (We always provided the data free of charge to scholars studying retractions and related phenomena.)
Fast forward to today. We’re thrilled to announce that Crossref has acquired The Retraction Watch Database and will make it completely open and freely available….”