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This paper presents the result of a recent large-scale subjective study of image retargeting quality on a collection of images generated by several representative image retargeting methods. Owning to many approaches to image retargeting that have been developed, there is a need for a diverse independent public database of the retargeted images and the corresponding subjective scores to be freely available. We build an image retargeting quality database, in which 171 retargeted images (obtained from 57 natural source images of different contents) were created by several representative image retargeting methods. And the perceptual quality of each image is subjectively rated by at least 30 viewers, meanwhile the mean opinion scores (MOS) were obtained. It is revealed that the subject viewers have arrived at a reasonable agreement on the perceptual quality of the retargeted image. Therefore, the MOS values obtained can be regarded as the ground truth for evaluating the quality metric performances. The database is made publicly available (Image Retargeting Subjective Database, [Online]. Available: http://ivp.ee.cuhk.edu.hk/projects/demo/retargeting/index.html) to the research community in order to further research on the perceptual quality assessment of the retargeted images. Moreover, the built image retargeting database is analyzed from the perspectives of the retargeting scale, the retargeting method, and the source image content. We discuss how to retarget the images according to the scale requirement and the source image attribute information. Furthermore, several publicly available quality metrics for the retargeted images are evaluated on the built database. How to develop an effective quality metric for retargeted images is discussed through a specifically designed subjective testing process. It is demonstrated that the metric performance can be further improved, by fusing the descriptors of shape distortion and content information loss.