Post-publication updates

Any changes after the publication are made after a careful consideration by the TSR editorial team and following the guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Please, get in contact with the TSR to initiate the discussion.

Version of record

Version of record is the final, definitive, and citeable version of a published article. It includes all article components—title, author, reviewer and handling editor information, abstract, keywords, text, illustrations, tables, references, appendices and any supplemental material.

The version of records should remain extant, exact, and unaltered to the maximum extent possible. After the publication, however, errors could be discovered or concerns of various nature (validity of conclusions, authorship, plagiarism, etc.) expressed. If this leads to any changes in the original article, a new version of records is created, while the previous version is still kept accessible to ensure transparency and traceability.

An example of an article with the version history can be found here.

Article correction

Corrections are the most common type of post-publication changes. Corrections could address issues such as:

  • errors in data or research results
  • insufficient transparency in description of procedures and methods
  • lack of proper attribution or crediting
  • authorship disputes
  • ambiguity of bibliographical data.

A standard practice is that an update to the version of record is accompanied by a Correction notice. The correction notice is published as a stand-alone article in the current journal issue. It contains the link to the updated version of record as well as a detailed description of the changes.

An example of a correction notice can be found here.

In case of very minor corrections (addressing errors not affecting readability and interpretation, such as typos), no separate correction notice is issued. Instead, a footnote is added in the updated article detailing the changes.

Article retraction

An article is retracted when a major error invalidates its conclusions, or when it appears that research or publication misconduct has taken place, such as:

  • research without required ethical approval
  • fabricated data or manipulated images
  • plagiarism
  • duplicate publication
  • citation manipulation
  • authorship for sale.

A retraction is usually preceded by an investigation performed by the journal editorial team (read more about the procedure for handling allegations of misconduct here). Authors or institutions may request a retraction if they believe their reasons motivate such action.

A retraction is accompanied by a Retraction notice, published as a stand-alone article in the current journal issue. It clearly links to the retracted article, states who initiated the retraction as well as describes the motivation for such decision. The retracted article remains accessible, however it is clearly labelled as ‘retracted’.

In case serious concerns are raised, but the investigation takes considerable time (or its results are inconclusive), an Expression of concern is motivated. The expression of concern is published as a stand-alone article in the current journal issue, clearly links to the article investigated and describes the nature of the concerns.

COPE retraction guidelines can be found here.

Article removal

An article is removed in very limited circumstances where the problems cannot be addressed through retraction or correction, for example:

  • The article contents pose serious risks if acted upon.
  • The content violates the privacy of study participants.
  • The article is defamatory or infringes legal rights.
  • The article is subject to a court order.

In case an article is removed, a Removal notice is published as a stand-alone article in the current journal issue, explaining the circumstances. A similar notice is placed in the original article's place.