Editor-in-chief should consider retracting a paper if

  • They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of a major error (e.g., miscalculation or experimental error), misconduct (e.g., data fabrication), or falsification (e.g. image manipulation).
  • It constitutes plagiarism
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing to previous sources or disclosure to the Editor, permission to republish, or justification (i.e., cases of redundant publication). It contains material or data without authorization for use.
  • Copyright has been infringed, or there is some other legal severe issue (e.g., libel, privacy).
  • It reports unethical research or has been published solely based on a compromised or manipulated peer review process
  • The author(s) failed to disclose a major conflict of interest that, in the Editor's view, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.

 A notice of retraction should

  • Be linked to the retracted article wherever possible (i.e., in all online versions)
  • Clearly identify the retracted article (e.g., by including the title and authors in the retraction heading or citing the retracted article)
  • Be clearly identified as a retraction (i.e., distinct from other types of correction or comment)
  • Be published promptly to minimize harmful effects
  • Be freely available to all readers (i.e., not behind access barriers or available only to subscribers)
  • State who is retracting the article
  • State the reason(s) for retraction
  • Be objective, factual and avoid statements that are potentially libelous or slanderous

Retractions are not appropriate if

  • The authorship is disputed, but there is no reason to doubt the validity of the findings
  • The main findings of the work are still reliable, and corrections could sufficiently address errors or concerns
  • An editor has inconclusive evidence to support retraction or is awaiting additional information such as from an institutional investigation
  • Author conflicts of interest have been reported to the journal after publication, but in the Editor's view, these are not likely to have influenced interpretations or recommendations, or the conclusions of the article.