Retracted Journal Articles and New Research Opportunities to Change Eating Behavior

46 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2020

Date Written: 2019


In 2017-19, about 18 of my research articles were retracted. These retractions offer some useful lessons to scholars, and they also offer some useful next steps to those who want to publish in the social sciences. Two of these steps include 1) Choose a publishable topic, and 2) have a rough mental roadmap of what the finished paper might look. That is, what’s the positioning, the study, and the possible contribution.

The topics I’ve described here offer one set of roadmaps that could be useful. First, they were of interest to journals in medicine, behavioral economics, marketing, nutrition, psychology, health, and consumer behavior. Second, they each show what a finished paper might look like. They show the positioning, relevant background research, methodological tips, and key implications.

I find all of these topics super interesting and of practical importance. This document provides a two-page template for each one that shows 1) An overview why it was done, 2) the abstract (or a summary if there was no abstract), 3) the reason it was retracted, 4) how it could be done differently, and 5) promising new research opportunities on the topic.

Table 1 and Appendix D lay out an estimate of how much effort it might take to do studies on these topics, and Appendix B lays out other issues related to how these specific papers were investigated. I’ve also estimated what I think the practical impact each research project might have. These are my own subjective estimates, but you might find them a useful starting point if you’re looking for a tie-breaker between two different topics.

I would strongly encourage anyone who’s interested in publishing in these areas to closely follow the principles of open science. You can start by preregistering hypotheses and planned analyses, and following the other steps along the road to publication. Making specific hypotheses and testing them followed by open science principles will be the best next way forward on these topics.

Academia can be a tremendously rewarding career both you and for the people who benefit from you research. Best wishes in moving topics like these forward, and best wishes on a great career.

Keywords: Retraction, Retracted, Wansink, JAMA, Eating Behavior, Psychology, Economics, Behavioral

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian, Retracted Journal Articles and New Research Opportunities to Change Eating Behavior (2019). Available at SSRN: or

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

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607-319-0123 (Phone)

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