Authors alerting readers via PubMed Commons

Journals can issue correction and errata notices to notify readers of errors and, as necessary, revise text and data in publications. Yet these processes can take time. Authors sometimes encounter obstacles to publishing corrections. Some authors use PubMed Commons to alert readers to issues or to refine language and interpretations. Correcting the record via journal notices is important, and it’s great to see authors add speed and transparency with post-publication updates.

corr2Earlier this year, Garret Stuber commented on a publication on hormonal control in social reward. In the days after it appeared in press, some errors came to his attention, which he was working to address through a formal correction notice. Stuber told Retraction Watch that, in the meantime, he commented “in an effort for immediate notice and transparency to what occurred.”

Sometimes an error may significantly change the results of a study. Stefan Hofmann commented on a meta-analysis he co-authored, examining the effects of oxytocin on an array of psychiatric symptoms. However, readers raised some points, prompting another look at the data. Errors were made in specifying the direction of outcomes investigated. Hofmann reported the re-calculated effect sizes and indicated that the article is being retracted.

Here are some more authors setting this great example:

Journal corrections revise the version of record for a publication, and PubMed Commons does not replace that. But it does offer another way for authors to provide clarifications, point to interim and published corrections, and alert readers to errors quickly. And it’s good to see authors taking advantage of PubMed Commons to pass that information along to the community.

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