Preprint Essay Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Evolution in the Correction of the Literature: Preprints, Manuscript Versioning, Error Amendment, and Retract and Replace

Version 1 : Received: 7 August 2017 / Approved: 8 August 2017 / Online: 8 August 2017 (08:27:48 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 24 February 2020 / Approved: 25 February 2020 / Online: 25 February 2020 (11:45:37 CET)

How to cite: Teixeira da Silva, J. Evolution in the Correction of the Literature: Preprints, Manuscript Versioning, Error Amendment, and Retract and Replace. Preprints 2017, 2017080029 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0029.v2). Teixeira da Silva, J. Evolution in the Correction of the Literature: Preprints, Manuscript Versioning, Error Amendment, and Retract and Replace. Preprints 2017, 2017080029 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0029.v2).

Abstract

Academic publishing is undergoing a highly transformative process, and many rules and value systems that were in place for years are being challenged in unprecedented forms leading to the evolution of novel ways of dealing with new pressures. One of the most important aspects of an integrated and valid academic literature is the ability to screen publications for errors during peer review to weed out mistakes, fraud and inconsistencies, such that the final published product represents a product that has value, intellectually, and otherwise. It is difficult to claim the existence of perfect manuscripts. The level of errors that exist in a manuscript will depend on the rigor of the research group and of the peer review process that was used to screen that paper. When errors slip into a final published paper, either through honest error or misconduct, and are not detected during peer review and editorial screening, but are spotted during post-publication peer review, an opportunity is created to set the record straight, and to correct it. To date, the most common forms of correcting the literature have been errata, corrigenda, expressions of concern, and retractions. Despite this range of corrective measures, which represent artificially created corrals around pockets of imperfect literature, certain cases do not quite fit this mold, and new suggested measures for correcting the literature have been proposed, including manuscript versioning, amendments, partial retractions and retract and replace. In this commentary, a discussion of the evolving correction of the literature is provided, as are perspectives of the risks and benefits of such new measures to improve it.

Subject Areas

amendment; corrigendum; erratum; errors; open science; peer review; preprint; replacement; retractions

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