Corrections and Retractions Policy
Process for Handling Cases Requiring Corrections, Retractions, and Editorial Expressions of Concern

While performing responsible research and reporting accurate content in the publishing of medical information, the author's due diligence and academic honesty play an important factor.
It is presumed that manuscripts provide honest and accurate documentation of honest observations.

There are 3 types of post-publication notice published:

  • Corrections,
  • Expressions of Concern (EOCs),
  • Retraction Notices

To address:

  • Errors that impact an article’s interpretation or indexing,
  • Concerns about compliance with journal standards and policies
  • Concerns that have implications for the integrity, reliability, and/or validity of published articles

In addressing issues raised about the publications, JoPC upholds the journals’ policies, publication criteria, and editorial standards, and follows ICMJE and COPE guidelines, where applicable.

Post-publication editorial decisions (e.g. corrections, Expressions of Concern, retractions) are issued only after JoPC carefully considers the issues raised, and how the case details align with COPE guidance and the policies and publication criteria. Under COPE guidance, JoPC attempt to discuss concerns with the article’s corresponding author before coming to an editorial decision.

After a post-publication editorial decision has been communicated to the authors, the decision is held during a brief commenting period in which authors can respond to the decision or notice the text. After the commenting period’s end date, which is specified in the decision notification letter, the decision will proceed.

Corrections

The Journal takes every effort in printing a final “product” that is error-free and asks authors to commit to the same. It is expected that the final version of a manuscript can be relied upon as accurate and complete. Authors are always provided with a set of page proofs that must be checked carefully for content and correct layout.
JoPC publishes corrections to address errors in the articles if, per the editorial assessment, all of the following criteria have been met:

  • The errors impact the main contents or understanding of the article.
  • The article's overall results and conclusions are upheld.
  • There are no concerns about the integrity or reliability of the reported work.
  • To address an error or omission that affects key aspects of the publication’s metadata (e.g. an author's name, or the competing interests, funding, or data availability statement),
  • To provide an underlying dataset or additional information that the editors deem necessary for the article to meet the journal’s research reporting standards.

Manuscripts will not be published without having received the authors’ approval or corrections. Occasionally, an error in a published paper may be discovered which requires the publication of a correction in the form of an erratum. Cases in which an erratum would be insufficient to address an error will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the Editor-in-Chief.


When an article is republished, JoPC generally publishes an accompanying correction or notice of republication, that is linked to the article and documents the changes. For example, JoPC republishes without accompanying notices (aka “silent corrections”) when updating author lists to reflect name changes for transgender or non-binary authors.

Expressions of Concerns and Retractions
Expressions of Concerns

Expressions of Concern (EOCs) are notices published at editors’ discretion to alert readers of serious concerns about published work or an article’s compliance with the policies (e.g. Data Availability). Where substantial doubt arises as to the honesty or integrity of a submitted or published article, it is the Editor-in-Chief's responsibility to ensure that the matter is adequately addressed, usually by the authors' sponsoring institution. It is not normally the Editor-in-Chief's responsibility to carry out the investigation or decide. The Editor-in-Chief should be promptly informed of the decision of the sponsoring institution and a retraction printed should it be determined that a fraudulent paper was published. Alternatively, the Editor-in-Chief may choose to publish an expression of concern over aspects of the conduct or integrity of the work.

Retractions

As is discussed in COPE’s Retraction Guidelines, retraction is a mechanism for correcting the literature and notifying readers of major concerns about the integrity, validity, or reliability of an article. Retractions are published on a numbered page and contain the original article's citation.
When retracting an article, PLOS publishes a notice of retraction that explains the reason(s) for the retraction. The notice is posted at the top of the affected article’s webpage and is linked to the article’s publication record. Depending on case details, JoPC may collaborate with the authors in preparing the notice and/or give the article’s authors the option to be listed as authors of the retraction notice.
JoPC attempts to notify all authors of a retraction decision and the notice text before completing a retraction.

Appeals of Post-Publication Decisions

JoPC will only consider appeals of Retraction or Expression of Concern decisions if both of the following criteria are met:

  • new information and/or data are provided that directly address the issue(s) underlying the decision (e.g. original raw data for cases involving image or data concerns, documentation of an investigation outcome from an institutional official), and
  • the appeal is received before the specified commenting deadline.

Appeals are considered by the JoPC Management team, and may be discussed with the journal’s Editor(s)-in-Chief, Executive Editor, or Section Editor, and/or with external scientific advisors or members of the journal’s Editorial Board.
Decisions on retraction and Expression of Concern appeals are final. We will not consider further rounds of appeal.