Journal policy in relation to corrections and retractions in published articles

Every article published by COMHARTaighde constitutes the Version of Record (VoR): the final, definitive, and citable version in the scholarly record.

Version of Record (VoR): “A fixed version of a journal article that has been made available by … a publisher by formally and exclusively declaring the article ‘published’.”

This is your final, published article. The VoR includes:

  • The paper, revised and accepted following peer review, in its final form, including the abstract, text, references, bibliography, and all accompanying tables, illustrations, data.
  • Any supplemental material.

Recognizing a published article as a finalized Version of Record establishes the expectation that it can be relied upon as accurate, complete, and citable. Wherever possible it is our policy to maintain the integrity of the Version of Record.  Because articles can be read and cited as soon as they are published, any changes thereafter could potentially impact those who read and cited the earlier version. All correction, expressions of concern and retraction notices are free to access at the point of publication.

Correcting errors

We would like to provide readers and authors with the opportunity to notify us if they find errors, especially errors that could affect the interpretation of data or information presented in an article.

If, after reading the guidance, you believe a correction is necessary in your article, contact us at comhartaighde@comhar.ie

Corrections

COMHARTaighde distinguishes between major and minor errors.

  • All major errors are accompanied by a separate correction notice. The correction notice should provide clear details of the error and the changes that have been made to the Version of Record. Under these circumstances COMHARTaighde will:
    • Correct the article.
    • Issue, and paginate, a separate correction notice electronically linked back to the corrected version.
    • Add a footnote to the article displaying the electronic link to the correction notice.
    • and make available the correction notice in the online issue of the journal.
  • All minor errors will include a footnote on the article detailing to the reader that the article has been corrected. Minor errors do not impact the reader’s understanding of the academic material.

Addenda

An addendum is a notification of an addition of information to an article, for example in response to a reader’s request for clarification. Addenda do not contradict the original publication, but if the author inadvertently omitted significant information available at the time, this material can be published as an addendum. Addenda may be peer reviewed, according to journal policy, and are subject to oversight by the editors of the journal. All addenda are electronically linked to the published article to which they relate.

Retractions

A retraction is a means to notify the community of unsound results or misconduct, following an investigation of the issue in question by COMHARTaighde. The purpose of a retraction is to correct the literature and ensure its integrity rather than to punish individuals. A retraction may be considered:

  • If there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
  • If the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross referencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication).
  • If the research constitutes plagiarism.
  • Where there is evidence of fraudulent authorship.
  • If there is evidence of unethical research.

Where the decision has been taken to retract an article COMHARTaighde will:

  • Add a “retracted” watermark to the published Version of Record of the article [PDF] and ‘Retraction: [article title]’ in the title of the article [HTML].
  • Issue, and paginate, a separate retraction statement, titled ‘Retraction: [article title]’, that will be linked to the retracted article in COMHARTaighde.

Expressions of concern

Publication of an expression of concern notice may be considered if:

  • There is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors.
  • There is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case.
  • There is an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication that has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive.
  • An investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.

The expression of concern will be linked back to the published article it relates to.

Article removal

Article removal is a rare occurrence in scholarly publishing. COMHARTaighde will consider removal of a published article in very limited circumstances:

  • If the article contains content that could pose a serious risk to health if followed or acted upon.
  • If the article is defamatory or infringes other legal rights.
  • If an article is subject to a court order.

In the case of an article being removed from COMHARTaighde, a removal notice will be issued in its place.

January 2020