Elsevier Announces New Procedures for Retracting Online Articles

Andrea L. Foster, Tidsskriftet for Universiteternes Efter- og Videreuddannelse, Feb 11, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

After some stinging criticism, Elsevier Science has had a change of heart and will now do the right thing when it comes to retracting journal articles. As this article describes, " an article may be marked for 'retraction' if it has been submitted to multiple journals, if it was plagiarized, if it was based on fraudulent data, or if a scholar's claim to authorship was bogus. In such cases, a retraction notice, linked to the original article, will explain why it has been retracted. The digital version of the article will have a watermark indicating it has been retracted." An articles will still be purged "if it is defamatory, infringes on others' legal rights, is likely to be the subject of a court order, or might pose serious health risks..." - I urge Elsevier not to jump the gun on this. Wait for the court order. The law, not the publisher, should determine the range of illegality. Oh, and I really want to know how an online article might "pose serious health risks..." E-thrombosis, perhaps?
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