Alterations to published articles

MedEdPublish – Alterations to Published Articles Policy 
Version 01: June 2019
Last update: June 2019

Contents

1. Scope of this policy
2. Types of change
3. Article revisions 4. Article corrections
5. Article retractions 6. Notices of concern

1. Scope

This policy statement applies to all ‘published’ articles in MedEdPublish. An article is considered to be ‘published’ at the point it is allocated a DOI and made available on the MedEdPublish website. Changes to articles which have been submitted but not yet published are covered in our ‘Guidelines for authors’.

2. Types of change

There are three ways in which changes can be made to the content of articles published in MedEdPublish: article revisions, article corrections and article retractions. Which of these applies depends on the nature of the changes required.

3. Article revisions

The article revisions facility provides a way for authors to improve the quality of their published article. As part of the post-publication peer-review process, MedEdPublish encourages authors to revise their articles in the light of reviewer feedback.  All authors are permitted to submit ONE revision – please see our fees and fee-structure page for current costs.

3.1 Timing of revisions

Authors may not submit a revised version of their article until:
(a) A period of 28 days has passed after the publication of the first version; and
(b) The article has been reviewed by two Panel Members. 

This is to ensure that reviewers have had enough time to peer review the first version, and that authors take the reviewers’ comments into account.
 

3.2 Changes permitted in revisions

Changes should be in response to reviews submitted for the original article, should focus on addressing substantive issues raised by reviewers, and should aim for improvement of the original article.

Revisions should not address solely grammatical and spelling errors, although these may be addressed provided the revision also addresses substantive issues raised by reviewers.
 

3.3 Processing of revised versions

If a revised version has been submitted and it does not meet the above criteria, it may be rejected and authors will not be permitted a further revision of the same article.

Reviews are handled independently of those placed on the first version. It is possible that a revision will receive negative reviews and a lower star rating than the original version.

Further information for authors wishing to submit a revised version of their article is available in our revised article policy.
 

4. Article corrections

MedEdPublish will issue a notice of correction to document and correct substantial errors that appear in online articles under two circumstances:
  1. The error significantly affects the scientific integrity of the work (e.g. the wrong figures are presented in a data table or statistical analysis)
  2. The error affects the publication's metadata (e.g. an author's name is misspelled)
The original article will remain as part of the scientific record, and the correction notice will be published as a separate item with its own DOI that will be linked to the original article.

Authors are strongly encouraged to check their work carefully before submitting it. We do not provide a proofreading or copyediting service and our processing of manuscripts is restricted to basic typesetting. We will not issue corrections notices for typographical errors, and other problems that do not significantly affect the scientific integrity of the work. Authors are encouraged to acknowledge these in the comments section of their articles.

In very rare cases, we may choose to directly correct the originally published version of the article, for example to remove defamatory information or data that could lead to identification of an individual. If that course is taken, a correction notice will also be created to document the changes to the original article.

Article corrections can be suggested by authors, reviewers or our editorial team. Where the request for correction does not originate from the authors, they will be contacted and invited to respond before a correction notice is published; however, the editors reserve the right to apply correction notices without author permission where they feel it is warranted.

Authors who wish to alert the editorial team to a situation where a correction may be warranted are requested to contact us with the relevant details (full citation of the article and description of the error) at: [email protected]

5. Article retractions

MedEdPublish follows the COPE Retraction Guidelines as given at: https://publicationethics.org/files/retraction%20guidelines_0.pdf [accessed 07-06-2019].

5.1 Grounds for retraction

We do not take the decision to retract an article lightly but, in line with COPE guidance, will consider it where:
  • the findings are unreliable
  • the findings have previously been published elsewhere (redundant publication)
  • the article constitutes plagiarism
  • the article reports unethical research
Grounds for an article’s retraction include (but are not limited to) submitting an author’s name without their knowledge, evidence of plagiarism, evidence of unethical procedures (including supplying false ethical approval information, not or falsely declaring conflicts of interests, deceptive manipulation of data, images, videos and audio files, manipulation of the editorial or review process, or selling authorship).
 

5.2 Decision to retract an article

Authors may request a retraction but the decision to retract an article is made by the Editors and may be taken without the authors’ permission where sufficient evidence exists to warrant the decision.
 

5.3 Process for retraction

The original article will remain as part of the scientific record, but will clearly be marked as ‘retracted’. The retraction notice will detail the grounds for retraction and will be published as a separate item with its own DOI that will be linked to the original article. It will also appear on the article and its pdf. Authors should note that retracted articles are still ‘published’ and may not be submitted to other journals.
 

6. Notices of concern

If serious concerns have been raised about an article, the Editors may apply a notice of concern while the matter is being investigated to alert readers to the concerns. Notices of concern will be published and assigned a DOI. If the concerns are satisfactorily resolved, the notice of concern statement will be updated to indicate this, however it will remain with the article to preserve the scientific record and in the event that the same concern is raised later.

In line with COPE guidelines, we will consider issuing a notice of concern if:
  • We receive 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
  • We believe that an 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