Corrections, expressions of concern and retractions
Sometimes after an article has been published it may be necessary to make a change to its final edited version. This will be done after careful consideration by the Editor who is also supported by Dove Medical Press staff to ensure any necessary changes are done in accordance with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Any necessary changes will be accompanied with a permanent post-publication notice which will be permanently linked to the original article. This can be in the form of a Correction notice (Corrigendum or Erratum), an Expression of Concern, a Retraction or in rare circumstances, a Removal. The purpose of this mechanism of making changes which are permanent and transparent is to ensure the integrity of the scholarly record.
A Correction notice will be issued when it is necessary to correct an error or omission which can impact the interpretation of the article, but where the scholarly integrity of the article remains intact. Examples include mislabelling of a figure, missing information on funding or competing interests of the authors. Dove Medical Press utilizes two types of correction notice; a Corrigendum will typically be issued for errors introduced by the authors, whereas an Erratum is typically issued for errors introduced by the publisher.
A Retraction notice will be issued where a major error (e.g. in the analysis or methods) invalidates the conclusions in the article, or where research misconduct or publication misconduct has taken place (e.g. research without required ethical approvals, fabricated data, manipulated images, plagiarism, duplicate publication etc). The decision to issue a retraction for an article will be done in accordance with COPE guidelines. Authors and institutions may also request retraction of their articles if their reasons meet the criteria for retraction.
All retractions issued at Dove Medical Press will ensure:
- The retraction and original article are linked in both directions
- The retracted article is clearly identified
- The original HTML version will remain, with both the HTML and PDF of the original article digitally watermarked ‘Retracted’
- A clear explanation giving the reason for the retraction is provided
- The person(s), for example, the authors and/or the Editor, who requested the retraction is clearly stated
Dove Medical Press recognizes the purpose of a retraction is to correct the literature and ensure the integrity of the publication record. They are not intended as a means of punishment for authors.
Retractions will not normally be issued to resolve authorship disputes. The preferred option in this situation is to issue a corrigendum. This is provided the authors can justify the change in authorship, and this usually requires the support of their respective institutions.
To help minimize the impact of incorrect or misleading publications, all efforts will be made to issue retractions as soon as possible.
In some cases, an Expression of Concern notice may be considered where concerns of a major nature have been raised (e.g. serious research or publication misconduct), but where the outcome of the investigation is inconclusive or where due to various complexities the investigation will not be complete for a considerable time. When the investigation has been completed a Retraction or Correction notice may follow the Expression of Concern, and alongside the original article, all will remain part of the permanent published record.
A Removal notice will be issued in very rare circumstances where the problems cannot be addressed by a Retraction or Correction notice. Examples include where the content in the article is defamatory or infringes on other legal rights or is subject to a court order. In the rare case of an article being removed from Dove Medical Press Online, a removal notice will be issued in its place.
Updated 15 June 2020