IEC recognizes the importance of the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record to researchers and librarians and attaches the highest importance to maintaining trust in the authority of its electronic archive.
It is a general principle of scholarly communication that the Editor of a journal or proceedings is solely and independently responsible for deciding which articles submitted shall be published. In making this decision, the Editor is guided by journal policies and constrained by such legal requirements in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. An outcome of this principle is the importance of the scholarly archive as a permanent, historic record of the transactions of scholarship: articles which have been published shall remain extant, exact and unaltered as much as possible. However, occasionally circumstances may arise where an article is published that must later be retracted or even removed. Such actions must not be taken lightly and can only occur under exceptional circumstances.
IEC recognizes our responsibility to correct errors in previously published articles. If it is necessary to communicate important, scientifically relevant errors or missing information, and compelling evidence can be shown that a major claim of the original article was incorrect, a Correction should be submitted detailing the reason(s) for and location(s) of the change(s) needed in the cover letter. Corrections can be submitted if a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading, e.g. an error in a figure that does not alter conclusions OR an error in statistical data not altering conclusions OR mislabelled figures OR wrong slide of microscopy provided, or if the author / contributor list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included.
The title of the submission should have the following format: "Corrigendum: Title of original article".
If the error was introduced during the publishing process, the IEC Production Office should be contacted.
Only used for Articles in Press which represent early versions of articles and sometimes contain errors, or may have been accidentally submitted twice. Occasionally, but less frequently, the articles may represent infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like. Articles in Press (articles that have been accepted for publication but which have not been formally published and will not yet have the complete volume/issue/page information) that include errors, or are discovered to be accidental duplicates of other published article(s), or are determined to violate our journal publishing ethics in the view of the editors (such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like), may be “Withdrawn” from IEC. Withdrawn means that the article content (HTML and PDF) is removed and replaced with a HTML page and PDF simply stating that the article has been withdrawn according to the IEC policy on Article in Press Withdrawal with a link to the current policy document.
Journal or Proceedings Editors should consider retracting a publication if:
Journal or Proceedings Editors shall determine based on investigation whether a retraction is required and in such cases shall act in accordance with COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. Besides these guidelines, standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by a number of library and scholarly bodies (refer to ICMJE’s recommendations on Corrections, Retractions, Republications and Version Control or the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s policy on Errata, Retractions, and Other Linked Citations in PubMed) and based on these the following best practice for article retraction has been adopted by IEC:
In an extremely limited number of cases, it may be necessary to remove an article from the online database. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory, or infringes others’ legal rights, or where the article is, or we have good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the metadata (Title and Authors) will be retained, the text will be replaced with a screen indicating the article has been removed for legal reasons.
In cases where an article, if acted upon, may pose a serious health risk, the Authors of the original paper may wish to retract the flawed original and replace it with a corrected version. Under such circumstances, the above procedures for retraction will be followed with the difference that the article retraction notice will contain a link to the corrected re-published article together with a history of the document.