Logo IMG

Comments and Corrigenda in Scientific Literature


It should also be recognized during any such discussion that pointing out ethical misdemeanors in an Erratum or Corrigenda serves little purpose. Most journals only provide a link to the Erratum when the original errant paper is accessed, and this does not usually even provide any indication of the correction being more than a minor typographical error. The journals may take some solace in the fact that the record stands corrected, but most readers ignore the link to the Erratum and the errant paper keeps getting cited (and read) with most being oblivious to the ethical misdemeanor. In addition, the Editors of a journal usually ensure that the Erratum is worded in a very sanitized way. The way forward is that a journal should ensure that the Erratum becomes a part of the pdf file of the original paper itself, and that every download of the errant paper automatically ensures that the ethical misdemeanor is also noted. I am happy to state that this particular suggestion (first made by me publicly in Current Science Vol 101, page 1261, Nov 25 2011) has been quietly implemented starting mid-2012 (and is being done for back issues also) in many IOP journals including J Phys. A to J Phys. G. I strongly suggest that American Publishers like APS, where a large number of Errata are published, should also follow this very simple procedure because of its far-reaching effect on 'ensuring credit where it is due'.

posted by Praveen Chaddah
January 19, 2013


Read Us on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.


Year-end indexes in PDF format:






Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • Sigma Xi SmartBrief:

    A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.

Write for American Scientist

Review our submission guidelines.

Subscribe to American Scientist