Procedures for Erratum, Retraction, and Editor’s Alert


An erratum notice is published to correct errors in a published article that were inadvertently created by the authors or by journal staff members during processing of the article.

The JNSPG may be alerted to errors either by the authors of the published article or by a reader. If the authors have alerted the staff, a correction (erratum) will be made as soon as possible. If a reader has alerted the staff, the author will be contacted to see if an erratum notice is appropriate. Readers may contact the JNSPG staff of errors either by submission of a formal Letter to the Editor, or by a brief email or phone call. If a Letter to the Editor has been received and an erratum is necessary, the authors of the original article will be asked to reply to the published Letter to the Editor as well as write the erratum notice. If the reader has merely sent in a brief email or has called in the comment, no published reply is necessary.


A published article will be retracted if an important error in method or data reporting occurred and is discovered after publication and/or if there is confirmation of scientific fraud, plagiarism, copyright infringement, duplicate publication, or other serious infraction. When a paper is retracted, a notice to this effect will appear online and also in the next available print issue of the JNSPG journal in which the original article appeared. The retraction notice may be written by the authors themselves or by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC). On the JNSPG website, the original article will remain but will be marked as Retracted and linked to the retraction notice. Both online and in print, the retraction notice will identify the reason for retraction and specify whether the article has been retracted by the authors or by the Editor-in-Chief. MEDLINE/PubMed will list the retraction notice and mark the original article as retracted.

Procedure Leading to Possible Article Retraction. When the editorial office is alerted to a possible case of scientific fraud, plagiarism, copyright infringement, duplicate publication, or other serious infraction, the paper in question will be examined to see whether an action should be taken. If there is any concern that the accusation may be true, the Editor-in-Chief or Ethics Officer will contact the corresponding author to discuss the situation and allow the authors to offer an explanation or retract the article if appropriate. If the incident involves copyright infringement, the Editor-in-Chief/Ethics Officer will contact the other publisher/individual with claims to copyright and state that we are looking into the issue.  

Should the authors choose to retract the article in question, the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to contact a representative of the authors’ institution (such as a dean) and/or funding agency to apprise authorities of the circumstances leading to retraction. If following the conversation with the corresponding author the Editor-in-Chief deems the original accusation to be without merit, the case will be dismissed.

If the corresponding author refuses to discuss the situation or offers an explanation that is insufficient, incomplete, or unacceptable, the Editor-in-Chief may contact the authors’ institution and/or funding agency and provide appropriate authorities with information about the matter received to date. The authors’ institution or funding agency is responsible for conducting an investigation of the incident. Based on the findings of this investigation, the Editor-in-Chief may close the case file or retract the article. The Editor-in-Chief may also make a final decision without benefit of the institution’s recommendation, if the known evidence indicates a clear path to dismissal of the matter or retraction.

If an accusation of scientific fraud, plagiarism, copyright infringement, duplicate publication, or other serious infraction is made by a reader or some other person not in the employ of JNSPG, editorial office staff will acknowledge receipt of the concern and state that the person will be informed of the outcome of any inquiry. After inquiry into the matter has been completed, the Editor-in-Chief will notify that person of the final disposition of the inquiry. No details other than what will appear in the notice of retraction will be shared.

If the issue is copyright infringement, the Editor-in-Chief will contact the other publisher/individual with claims to copyright and resolve the issue.

During an investigation of possible misconduct, great care will be taken to preserve the privacy of all authors involved.

Editor’s Alert

If the reliability of an article is suspect, the Editor-in-Chief may alert the readership by publishing an Editor’s Alert (also known as an editorial expression of concern). This is likely to occur if an investigation into the matter has become prolonged or the final evidence is inconclusive. The Alert will state the reason for concern and will be linked to the article. MEDLINE/PubMed will also note the Alert. Over time, an Editor’s Alert may be replaced by an exonerating statement or by an erratum or retraction notice.