Policy and best practice: errata & corrigenda
For the purposes of this document the term Editor encompasses all Editor title variations and is limited to those that have final acceptance responsibility.
Policy a) Peer review
All content of an article undergoes peer-review, including all (types of) supplementary material, under the auspices of the Editor.
[Note: peer review of supplementary “data” files refers to the requirement of the reviewer to safeguard that there is a logical and consistent relationship established between the data and the conclusions rather than that the data themselves are correct. The exception policy is still under consideration]
All material pertaining to the article is submitted in one go at the start of the editorial review process.
Additional material may be requested by the Editor or reviewers during the peer review process in order to improve the article; all such additional material also undergoes peer review.
The Editor alone is responsible for accepting the article (in full) for publication.
Should an author want to add material to their article post-acceptance, the author informs the Editor and the article is re-reviewed
Should an author want to add material to their article post-publication:
- where the new material is additional to the accepted article it must be submitted for peer review as usual and, if accepted, published in a subsequent article, referring back to the original;
- where the new material replaces original content, the policies referring to corrigenda is applied (see Policy b and c below).
[See elsewhere with regard to Elsevier’s retraction policy]
Policy b) Distinction between of Erratum and Corrigendum
Though not distinguished in dictionaries, the proposal is for Elsevier policy to follow the current convention:
- Erratum refers to errors introduced to the article by the publisher post-author proof correction stage (all earlier publisher-induced changes should be identified by the author at proof stage and corrected by the publisher before final publication; this option can be maintained for those hopefully rare cases where the author has missed an error);
- Corrigendum refers to changes the author wants to introduce post-acceptance, at any time thereafter, during the publication processes or post-publication.
The distinction should be strictly adhered when E&C are to be published.
Policy c) Notification of changes to the article
In all cases it is expected that it is the author who will notice (or be informed of) errors in their article post-publication. Elsevier should endeavour to make notification of published errors a simple process for the author and transparent to the reader. The following are proposed:
- Generic information about how to notify Elsevier about an error is provided
- on journal EES sites
- in the article publication alert message(s) to authors
- in the author help pages on the corporate web site
- This message includes the distinction between Erratum and Corrigendum to help the author report the right type of error, and gives further instructions depending on the type of error
- for errata, the author is directed to contact the journal manager / a generic e-mail address for follow up by the journal manager / a dedicated EPJ staff.
- for corrigenda, the author is directed to contact the Editor of the journal, who will determine the impact of the change and decide on the appropriate course of action. A journal manager will only instigate a corrigendum to a published article after receiving approval and instructions from the Editor.