Policy Regarding Corrections and Retractions
All KMF journals have the same policy regarding corrections and retractions. We differentiate between Addendum, Erratum, Corrections, Retractions (or Partial Retractions), and Comments.
If crucial results (e.g., missing grant number, additional affiliation, clarification regarding some aspect of methods/analysis, etc.) were unintentionally omitted from the original publication, the original article can be amended through an Addendum reporting these previously omitted results. The Addendum will be published, with the article number added to the current issue of the journal. A hyperlink to the Addendum will also be added to the original publication, but the original paper does not need to be updated.
An Erratum is a published notification that a formatting change and/or other non-scientific change (including changes to authorship) was made to a paper after issue release. Formatting issues may include missing or unclear figures, or text deleted by accident. Very minor errors that do not affect readability or meaning do not require publication of an Erratum. Thus, we kindly request that all authors proofread the final version very carefully.
Before issue release: Prior to issue release, corrections of minor issues are directly made to the original, published version of the article on the journal’s website. If the changes may influence the result or conclusions, the Academic Editors will evaluate the changes. It may be necessary to issue a Correction or Retraction (see below).
After issue release: Any changes after publication that may affect the scientific interpretation of a paper (e.g., data in a figure change, changes in conclusions, whole paragraph added, correction of a species name or equation, or addition of missing details about a method, etc.) are announced using a Correction. This will appear as a separate publication that links to the original paper (which is updated). A note will also be added to the Article Version Notes and to the abstract page, which tells the readers that an updated version was uploaded.
Sometimes an article needs to be completely removed from the body of research literature. This could be due to inadvertent errors made during the research process, gross ethical breaches, fabrication of data, large amounts of plagiarism, or other reasons. Such articles threaten the integrity of scientific records and need to be retracted. KMF follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics for retraction. Potential Retractions are thoroughly investigated by the Editorial Office with the support of the Editorial Board and final approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Other persons and institutions will be consulted as necessary, including university authorities or experts in the field. If a Retraction is published, the original publication is amended with a “RETRACTED” watermark, but will still available on the journal’s website for future reference. However, retracted articles should not be cited and used for further research as they cannot be relied upon. The Retraction is published as a separate item in the current issue of the journal with article numbers added such that after issue release, the Retraction can be picked up by indexing and abstracting services. Partial Retractions might be published in cases where results are only partially wrong. A paper will only be completely removed in very exceptional circumstances, where leaving it online would constitute an illegal act or be likely to lead to significant harm.
Expression of Concern
For complex, inconclusive, or prolonged situations, an Expression of Concern may be published. If investigations into alleged or suspected research misconduct have not yet been completed or prove to be inconclusive, an editor or journal may wish to publish an Expression of Concern detailing the points of concern and what actions, if any, are in progress. This is very rarely used.
Comments and Replies
Comments are short letters to the editors from readers questioning either the reported results or the experimental methods used in a specific article. Usually, a reader will approach the Editorial Office or the Editor-in-Chief of a journal if he/she finds an article intriguing. In such circumstances, the Editorial Office may invite the reader to write a short and reasoned Comment on the article. After consideration and review by the Editor in Chief, the Comment may be published, in which case the Editorial Office will approach the authors of the article in question and invite them to prepare a Reply. If the reader’s complaints are substantiated, the authors or the Editorial Office may consequently publish a Correction or retract the paper entirely. Both comments and replies will be refereed to ensure that:
- The comment addresses significant aspects of the original paper without becoming essentially a new paper;
- The reply responds directly to the comment without becoming evasive; and
- The tone of both the comment and the reply is appropriate for a scientific journal.
A comment will first be sent to Academic Editors for an initial check. If it is allowed to proceed, it will be sent to the author of the original paper, who will be given the opportunity to write a reply. Normally, the Editor will provide a deadline for receipt of the reply in order to assure prompt publication of the discussion. If a reply is submitted in a timely manner, the Editor will have both the comment and reply reviewed. If the original author chooses not to submit a reply, the Editor may elect to proceed without a reply.
In most cases, Editors will invite previous reviewers to review both the Comment and Reply (if possible). After receiving review reports, the Editors will send the Reply and review reports to the author of the Comment. The author will be given only one chance to revise the Comment. The revised Comment and review reports will be sent to the authors of the Reply. The authors will also be given only one chance to revise the Reply. Finally, Editors will send the revised Comment/Reply to the Academic Editor for a final decision.