Some 40% of the retractions in the Retraction Watch database have a single curious origin. Over the past decade, one publisher—the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in New York City—has quietly retracted thousands of conference abstracts.
Most of the abstracts are from IEEE conferences that took place between 2009 and 2011. The 2011 International Conference on E-Business and E-Government alone resulted in retractions of more than 1200 abstracts. In all, IEEE has retracted more than 7300 such abstracts. Most of the authors are based in China, and their papers covered topics as diverse as physical sciences, business, technology, and social sciences.