The SDI journals operate the following policy for making corrections to the online versions of their peer-reviewed content. All corrections (except Errata) are peer-reviewed, and where possible they are sent to the same referees who reviewed the original paper to maintain uniformity of evaluation. A copy is usually also sent to the corresponding author of the original paper for signed comments. Decisions about types of correction are made by the editors of the journal that published the paper, with the help of peer-reviewers' advice. This process involves consultation with the authors of the paper, but the editor makes the final decision about the category in which the amendment is published.
An erratum will be used if an important error has been introduced during the production of the journal article (one that affects the publication record, the scientific integrity of the paper, the reputation of the authors or of the journal), including errors of omission such as failure to make factual proof corrections requested by authors within the deadline (within 30 days of online publication) provided by the journal.
SDI publishes errata for typing errors except where an apparently simple error is significant (for example, an incorrect unit). A significant error in a figure or table is corrected by publication of a new corrected figure or table as an erratum, if necessary. If there is an error in the lettering on a figure, the usual procedure is to publish a sentence of rectification. A significant error in the figure itself is corrected by publication of a new corrected figure as an erratum. The figure or table is republished only if the editor considers it necessary.
A corrigendum is a notification of an important error made by the authors of the article. Readers wishing to draw the journal's attention to a significant published error should submit a Communications by email to journal editor. Corrigenda are published after discussion among the editors, often with the help of peer-reviewers. All co-authors must sign an agreed wording. All authors must sign corrigenda submitted for publication.
In cases where co-authors disagree, the editors will take advice from independent peer-reviewers and impose the appropriate amendment, noting the dissenting author(s) in the text of the published version.
In cases where some coauthors decline to sign a corrigendum or retraction, the editors reserve the right to publish it with the dissenting author(s) identified. SDI journals publish corrigenda if there is an error in the published author list, but not for overlooked acknowledgements.
An addendum is a notification of a peer-reviewed addition of information to a paper, for example in response to a reader's request for clarification. Addenda do not contradict the original publication, but if the author inadvertently omitted significant information available at the time, this material can be published as an addendum after peer review.
Addenda are published only rarely and only when the editors decide that the addendum is crucial to the reader's understanding of a significant part of the published contribution.
A retraction is a notification of invalid results. Retractions are judged according to whether the main conclusion of the paper is seriously undermined as a result, for example, of subsequent information coming to light of which the authors were not aware at the time of publication.
In the case of experimental papers, this can include e.g. further experiments by the authors or by others which do not confirm the main experimental conclusion of the original publication. Readers wishing to draw the editors' attention to published work requiring retraction should first contact the author of the original paper and then write to the journal.
The editors will seek advice from reviewers if they judge that the information is likely to draw into question the main conclusions of the published paper. Infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data, or the like, will also result in an article being retracted. All co-authors will be asked to agree to a retraction. In cases where some co-authors decline to sign a retraction, the editors reserve the right to publish the retraction with the dissenting author(s) identified. In very rare circumstances it may be necessary to remove an article from the online journal. This will only occur where the article is clearly defamatory, or infringes others' legal rights, or where the article is, or there is good reason to expect it will be, the subject of a court order, or where the article, if acted upon, might pose a serious health risk. In these circumstances, while the bibliographic information (title and authors) will be retained online, the text will be replaced with a page indicating that the article has been removed for legal reasons.
Correction in the online version will be linked to the original article (and vice versa), will make the retracted status clear in the preceding screen, and the article will bear a "retracted" watermark throughout.