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Corrections (Errata) 

Corrections (Errata)

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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Corrections (Errata)

Journals should publish corrections (or errata) following errors or important omissions made by authors or introduced by editors, manuscript editors, production staff, or printers.2,4,24 According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, journal editors have a duty to publish corrections in a timely manner24; however, the age of the original article in which the error was made should not be used as a reason not to publish a correction. Corrections to print publications should be published on a numbered editorial page and listed in the journal’s table of contents. It is preferable to publish corrections in a consistent place in the journal, such as at the end of the correspondence column. If this is not possible or if corrections are routinely published in available white space in print versions of journals, these should still be listed on the journal’s table of contents. If easily identified, corrections will then be included in literature databases, such as MEDLINE, and appended to online citations to the original article that contains the error.31 Corrections made to online-only content and publications should also be properly labeled and identified (eg, listed in the online table of contents) and reciprocally linked to the original content. On occasion, an error may be so serious (eg, error in drug dosage) or important to the author (eg, misspelling of author’s name) to warrant immediate correction online. In this case, it should be made clear in the online article that a correction has been made, and a print correction should follow.

In online publications and versions of print journals, corrections should reciprocally link to and from the original article. Corrections should also be appended to all derivative publications (eg, reprints). If major errors are corrected in derivative publications, a note should be included indicating that a correction has been made and/or linking to a correction.

Corrections (or errata) should not be used for retractions of fraudulent articles resulting from fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism (see also 5.4.5, Scientific Misconduct, Retractions, Expressions of Concern).

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