Corrections to scientific papers have been published for much longer than retractions, and show little sign of a recent increase.
The number of journals issuing retractions has grown dramatically in recent years, but the number of retractions per retracting-journal has not increased.
The number of queries and allegations made to the US Office of Research Integrity has grown, but the frequency of its findings of misconduct has not increased.
Therefore, the rising number of retractions is most likely to be caused by a growing propensity to retract flawed and fraudulent papers, and there is little evidence of an increase in the prevalence of misconduct.
Statistics on retractions and findings of misconduct are best used to make inferences about weaknesses in the system of scientific self-correction.