Policy on Retraction
Retraction is a mechanism for correcting the literature and alerting readers to publications that contain such seriously flawed or erroneous data that their findings and conclusions cannot be relied upon. Unreliable data may result from honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error) OR from research misconduct (see Policy on Research Misconduct) OR if the publication is redundant (i.e. when authors present the same data in several publications) OR in cases of plagiarism disclosed after publishing OR failure to disclose conflict(s) of interest (that is likely to influence interpretations or recommendations). The main purpose of retractions is to correct the literature and ensure its integrity rather than to punish the authors who commit misconduct.
If only a small part of an article reports flawed data, and especially if this is the result of genuine error, then the problem is best rectified by a correction or erratum or corrigendum, whichever suits the purpose.
Journal considers retracting a publication if:
- There is a clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error
- the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross referencing, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication).
Journal considers issuing an expression of concern 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 a belief that investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either 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.
Journal considers issuing a correction if:
- a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error).
- the author / contributor list is incorrect (i.e. a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included)
Journal does not consider retraction if:
- requests of a change of authorship is received but there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings.
Notices of retraction are linked to the retracted article wherever possible (i.e. in all print and electronic versions) and a separate retraction heading is generated in that issue including the title and all authors. The Retraction Notice is published promptly to minimize harmful effects from misleading publications. The notices are freely available to all readers.
COPE guidelines for retraction of manuscripts – Updated in 2019. Available online at; https://publicationethics.org/newsevents/cope%E2%80%99s-retraction-guidelines