Correction of the literature, corrigenda & errata


Extensive publication errors. Should we 're-publish'?


In March 2012, our journal published a posthumous excerpt of a book by a prestigious scholar, who had died before completing the book. We chose to publish because the unfinished book represented the scholar's life work, and would not find another publication venue. The excerpt included a number of large figures, which we also published.


Correcting errors versus privileged information


The editor-in-chief received an email from author A regarding a recently published corrigendum by authors BCD, one of whom (author C) is a member of the journal’s editorial board.


Multiple failure to declare a relevant conflict of interest


During peer review of a manuscript submitted to journal Y, one of the referees indicated a belief that at least one of the authors had not declared a relevant conflict of interest (CoI). The article indicated that the authors had no relevant CoIs. The referee provided a URL to a press release that supported the allegation. It appears that one of the authors is the discoverer of a series of compounds that are the subject of the article. The compounds have been licensed to a company.


Author dispute over internal report


Author A was paid to facilitate a meeting and write a meeting report for internal purposes.  He was paid to do this by author C’s company. The report was posted as a PDF on author C’s company website. No authors were listed on the report.


Definition of plagiarism?


In 1997 a book was published (in Italian) on the life of an Italian composer, assembled through analysis of his mummified remains.  Author A contributed a chapter on anthropological analysis (chapter X) and author B co-authored a chapter on paleopathology (chapter Y).

In 2003, our journal published an article (in English) co-authored by author B on the paleopathology of the same composer.


Sloppiness or deception?


A case control study that links miscarriage to a particular event was published in Journal A. The paper says that most women were pregnant when interviewed. Whether or not they had miscarried when interviewed matters because of “recall bias.” In fact, most of the women who miscarried had already miscarried and so were not pregnant. The statement that most of the women were pregnant is “true” because all of the controls produced live births and were pregnant. The statement is thus misleading.