Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 231–240

The effectiveness of the erratum in avoiding error propagation in physics


  • Marshall Thomsen
    • Department of Physics and AstronomyEastern Michigan University
  • D. Resnik
    • Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Wyoming

DOI: 10.1007/BF02628800

Cite this article as:
Thomsen, M. & Resnik, D. Sci Eng Ethics (1995) 1: 231. doi:10.1007/BF02628800


The propagation of errors in physics research is studied, with particular attention being paid to the effectiveness of the erratum in avoiding error propagation. We study the citation history of 17 physics papers which have significant errata associated with them. It would appear that the existence of an erratum does not significantly decrease the frequency with which a paper is cited and in most cases the erratum isnot cited along with the original paper. The authors comment on implications for the responsibilities of authors.


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© Opragen Publications 1995