Article Correction, Retraction, and Withdrawal Policy

Every article published by PHI, either in the print issue or online, constitutes the Version of Record (VoR): the final, definitive, and citable version in the scholarly record (see NISO, 2008).

The VoR includes:

  • The paper, revised and accepted following peer review, in its final form, including the abstract, text, references, bibliography, and all accompanying tables, illustrations, data.
  • Any supplemental material.

Recognizing a published article as a finalized Version of Record establishes the expectation that it can be relied upon as accurate, complete, and citable. Wherever possible it is our policy to maintain the integrity of the Version of Record in accordance with STM Association guidelines:

"Articles that have been published should remain extant, exact, and unaltered to the maximum extent possible” (STM Guidelines on Preservation of the Objective Record of Science)

Sometimes after an article has been published it may be necessary to make a change to the Version of Record. This will be done after careful consideration by the Editors to ensure any necessary changes are made in accordance with guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

PHI operates the following policy for making corrections to the print and online versions of their peer-reviewed content.

Publishable amendments that affect the publication record and/or the scientific accuracy of published information receive a DOI and are published in print and online in the journal. Four categories of amendments are relevant for peer-reviewed material: Erratum or Publisher Correction, Corrigendum or Author Correction, Retraction or Addendum. All four correction types are bi-directionally linked to the original published paper. Detailed information on each amendment category follows below.

Erratum or Publisher Correction

Notification of an important error made by the journal that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or of the journal. 

PHI distinguishes between major and minor errors. For Erratum, major errors or omissions are considered to be any changes which impacts the interpretation of the article, but where the scholarly integrity of the article remains intact.

  • All major errors are accompanied by a separate erratum. The erratum should provide clear details of the error and the changes that have been made to the Version of Record. Under these circumstances PHI will:
    • Correct the online article.
    • Issue a separate erratum electronically linked back to the corrected version.
    • Add a footnote to the article displaying the electronic link to the erratum.
    • Paginate and make available the erratum in the online issue of the journal.
  • Any minor errors will not be accompanied by a separate erratum. Instead a footnote will be added to the article detailing to the reader that the article has been corrected. Minor errors do not impact the reliability of, or the reader's understanding of, the scholarly content.

           Minor errors include:

  • Minor layout changes/fixes
  • Typos or grammatical issues that are in the main body of the manuscript and do not affect the content or meaning of a sentence. However, if the typo is a number, a separate erratum or a corrigendum is usually required as this changes meaning. If typo is in the title, a separate erratum or a corrigendum is required.
  • Minor fixes in references as long as the reference stays essentially the same (we usually do not update broken links to external websites as linkrot over time is to be expected).
  • Updating metadata in the pdf file can be done as long as it does not change the metadata in the system (for example: if in the pdf file of the article did not have the address for correspondence nor complete address of each author's affiliation (or only in html of the website), it can be updated). Changing metadata in the system requires a separate erratum or a corrigendum.

Corrigendum or Author Correction

Notification of an important error made by the author(s) that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or the journal. 

In BNJ, authors receive numerous opportunities to check and approve the manuscript before it is being published (e.g. during copyediting and proofreading). With the few exceptions mentioned above, no changes are possible after the article has been published, unless a corrigendum is published, which may incur costs for the author.

In order to publish a corrigendum you should first file a ticket with and briefly describe what you want to have corrected. We will evaluate the request and investigate the cause and severity of the error (if any).

There are the following four possibilities/outcomes:

  1. The error was introduced after the final proofreading step (or the authors brought this to our attention during proofreading and we failed to correct this). As this is the publishers' responsibility, we will submit a corrigendum on authors' behalf. There are no costs for them.
  2. The error is an update/correction of something that was in the original submission or an addendum to the original submission, or this error was in the proofs and the authors did not make a correction at the time. Requests like "I forgot to acknowledge somebody" or "there is an error in one of the authors' names" are what we call a "Discretionary Correction", as it is an oversight that is the authors' responsibility but not severe enough to affect the validity of the paper. We can correct it, but reserve the right to charge a fee of $40 for publishing the corrigendum, correcting the original article and linking it to the corrigendum, and resubmitting the article to various databases.
  3. We do not think the error you have mentioned is a problem and requires any action/correction.
  4. The error is a minor layout change and can be made without publishing a corrigendum.

In case 1 or 2, a corrigendum has to be published and a correction notice has to be sent to various databases to notify them.


Notification of invalid results that affect the reliability of a previously published article. The original article is marked as retracted but remains available to readers, and the retraction statement notifying readers of the invalidity of the published paper is bi-directionally linked to the original published paper.


Notification of additional information about a paper. Addenda are published when the editors decide that the addendum is crucial to the reader's understanding of a significant part of the published contribution. Addenda include Editorial Expression of Concern, which is an editorial statement alerting our readership to serious concerns with the published paper. Editorial Expression of Concern are typically updated with another amendment once further information is available.


Withdrawal Policy

Some authors request withdrawal of manuscript from the publication process after submission. Withdrawing manuscripts from publication wastes the valuable resources and tremendous amount of effort made in processing the manuscripts by the editors, reviewers and the editorial staff.

Submission of an article to PHI implies that the work has NOT been published or submitted elsewhere; therefore, the journal is strongly against unethical withdrawal of an article from the publication process after submission. Once the article is submitted, the author grants the editorial board full publishing rights and it is the absolute right of the editorial board to decide on article withdrawals.

For genuine withdrawal, the corresponding author should submit a request which must be signed by all co-authors explaining the reason of withdrawing the manuscript. The request will be processed by the editorial board and only serious genuine reasons will be considered if possible. The decision of the editorial board will be final and not negotiable. If an author requests a withdrawal within 3 days of submission, the author is allowed to withdraw the manuscript without paying any withdrawal fee; however, if the author withdraws the manuscript any time after review and acceptance, a withdrawal fee of $40 will have to be paid.