Authors : Virginia Barbour, Theo Bloom, Jennifer Lin, Elizabeth
Academic publishing is evolving and our current system of correcting research post-publication is failing, both ideologically and practically. It does not encourage researchers to engage in consistent post-publication changes.
Worse yet, post-publication “updates” are misconstrued as punishments or admissions of guilt. We propose a different model that publishers of research can apply to the content they publish, ensuring that any post-publication amendments are seamless, transparent and propagated to all the countless places online where descriptions of research appear.
At the center, the neutral term “amendment” describes all forms of post-publication change to an article. We lay out a straightforward and consistent process that applies to each of the three types of amendments: insubstantial, substantial, and complete.
This proposed system supports the dynamic nature of the research process itself as researchers continue to refine or extend the work, removing the emotive climate particularly associated with retractions and corrections to published work.
It allows researchers to cite and share the correct versions of articles with certainty, and for decision makers to have access to the most up to date information.