Article Retraction & Withdrawal Policy
Journal editors should retract articles if:
- It includes multiple submissions, fake authorship claims, plagiarism, and data misuse.
- The main conclusion is invalid or significantly undercut by new evidence that the authors were ignorant of at the time of publication.
Journal Editors must investigate whether a retraction is warranted and, if so, must act in accordance with COPE's Retraction Guidelines.
- A retraction note titled "Retraction: [Article Title]" will be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal and is indicated in this issue's table of contents.
- A link to the original article is included in the electronic edition.
- The online article is preceded by a screen with the retraction notice; the link resolves to this page, and the reader can then go to the article itself.
- The original article is kept in its entirety, with the exception of a watermark on each page of the article PDF indicating that it has been "retracted."
- The document's HTML version is no longer available.
It is important to note that just because an author retains copyright for an article does not mean they automatically have the right to retract it after publication. The integrity of the published scientific record is critical, and COPE's Retraction Guidelines continue to apply in such circumstances.
Journal editors should consider publishing a correction if any of the following conditions exist:
- A minor portion of a reputable publication reports inaccurate data or is deceptive, especially if it is the result of honest error.
- The list of Authors or Contributors is inaccurate (e.g. a deserving Author has been omitted or someone who does not meet authorship criteria has been included).
Corrections to peer-reviewed literature are classified into four types:
- To inform readers of a substantial publishing/journal staff error (typically a production error) that has a detrimental influence on the publication record or the scientific integrity of the article, or on the authors' or journal's reputation.
- Author correction (also known as a 'corrigendum'): to warn readers of a serious error committed by the Authors that has a detrimental influence on the publishing record or the scientific integrity of the article, or on the Authors' or the journal's reputation.
- Addendum: a supplement to the article by its Authors to explain contradictions, expand the current work, or explain or update the material in the primary work.
- See prior section. Retractions are frequently reserved for publications whose findings or conclusions are unreliable for whatever reason. Partial retractions are unsuccessful because they make it difficult for readers to determine the article's status and which parts are reliable. In the same way, editors should assess whether a small fraction of an article is plagiarised (e.g., a few phrases in the discussion) rather than retracting the entire article, which may contain sound original facts in other areas.
Article withdrawal is only used in unusual situations for early versions of accepted articles that have not yet been formally published (“articles in press”) but may already be online. These versions may contain errors, be submitted twice, or violate a journal's publishing ethical requirements (e.g. multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data, etc.). In such cases, especially when there are legal/ethical violations or incorrect facts that could cause harm, we may decide to remove the content from our electronic platform. Withdrawal involves removing the article content (HTML and PDF) and replacing it with an HTML page and PDF explaining why it was withdrawn.
Keep in mind that retaining copyright for an article does not entitle the author to withdraw it after publication. The integrity of the published scientific record is crucial, and these policies still apply.
In rare situations, we may need to remove an article from our online platform. This will only happen if an article is plainly libellous, violates others' legal rights, is the subject of a court order, or poses a major health risk if acted upon. In this case, the article's metadata (title and author) will remain, but the text will be replaced by a screen notifying that the article has been removed for legal reasons.
In a very small percentage of circumstances, we may need to withdraw a published content from our web platform. This will only occur if an item is plainly defamatory or infringes on the legal rights of others, or if the piece is, or we have reason to believe it will be, the subject of a court order, or if the article, if acted upon, may pose a major health risk. In such cases, the article's metadata (title and author information) will be kept, but the text will be replaced with a screen explaining that the article has been removed for legal reasons.