Beyond the Published Retraction

  • M. V. Dougherty
Part of the Research Ethics Forum book series (REFF, volume 6)


This chapter considers ways in which published corrections of the scholarly record are disseminated throughout the research community. Even when editors and publishers issue corrections, these notifications can still be minimized to the point of irrelevance if they are not reflected in the research practices of other members of the scholarly community. In some humanities disciplines, including philosophy, entries for articles in specialized research databases are not updated to reflect when the status of an article has been changed by a publisher through a retraction, erratum, corrigendum, or expression of concern (“The Database Problem”). At times an article is retracted by a publisher, but then the article is reprinted in another venue without acknowledgment of the retracted status of the original publication (“The Anthology Problem”). Some publishers will correct the electronic version that it hosts in one system but will leave other electronic versions unchanged (“The Platform Problem”). Quite frequently the original uncorrected versions of articles are uploaded on secondary websites outside the control of a publisher. These copies are more accessible to researchers than the corrected versions on the proprietary platforms of publishers, and so researchers download and use the more easily accessible but uncorrected versions (“The Repository Problem”). Furthermore, the authors of record and their institutions at times keep quiet about the changes in status of articles and reference uncorrected versions (“The Pretend-It-Didn’t-Happen-Problem”). I propose clear solutions to these problems and note some positive developments.


Retractions Humanities Scholarly record Research databases Publishing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. V. Dougherty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyOhio Dominican UniversityColumbusUSA

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