A paper was published in a journal. After publication, the author contacted the journal to ask for withdrawal of the paper because of some mistakes. After careful and considered review of the content of this paper by a duly constituted expert committee, the paper was found to be incomplete due to the dependent variable used in the analysis and the literature review used.
The paper was retracted. After the retraction was published, the author submitted a new article, which was based on the retracted paper
Question for the Forum
● Should the author reference in the new article that the original paper was already published?
The Forum agreed that the author should reference the retracted paper in the new article and explain the mistakes that have been corrected in this new version. The retracted paper is still visible online and marked as retracted; the paper has not been physically removed. Hence the authors must state that the new article is a reworking of the original paper.
The COPE Retraction Guidelines state: “An author may republish some of the work if not all of the content was found to be unreliable. In order to do so transparently, authors should notify the editors of the new journal of the prior retraction and it is likely appropriate to cite the retraction, indicating why the work was flawed and what has been corrected in the new article. Permission to republish also needs to be agreed with the copyright holder of the retracted work.”
When the author cites the original paper, they must make it clear that the paper has been retracted and cite the DOI of the retraction notice if appropriate. Although the authors might be reluctant to cite a retracted paper, in terms of damage to their reputation, the editor should encourage them to do so, explaining that this is part of the process and the literature needs to be corrected.
The journal retracted the paper. The editor considers the case closed.