A published article is a scientific record and we cannot make any changes without publishing a corrigendum.
Exceptions (where we can make fixes without publishing a corrigendum) 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 corrigendum is usually required as this changes meaning. If typo is in the title or abstract, a corrigendum is required.
- internal broken links e.g. Multimedia Appendix does not download (however, if the article is already submitted to PMC and the MA was not included, a correction 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).
It is at the discretion of the editorial/production staff to make these fixes post-publication. In some cases we may reject to make a minor change if it was already in the proofs, but the author has the option to pay us for the time required to make the change.
In JMIR, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- 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.
- 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 $190 for publishing the corrigendum, correcting the original article and linking it to the corrigendum, and resubmitting the article to various databases and/or making changes to the PubMed record.
- We do not think the error you have mentioned is a problem and requires any action/correction.
- 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.
The process for submitting a corrigendum is:
- Submit a word file with a short correction description, describing exactly what was wrong and what should be corrected (following the template here; see previous examples here: http://www.jmir.org/collection/view/38) using the manuscript submission system to the journal where the article was published (see Where/how do I submit my paper to a JMIR journal?).
Please do not resubmit the revised paper (only of extensive changes are required a "retraction and republication" is possible). Rather, you need to upload a file that explains what should be changed, quoting the original sentence [author name, reference, affiliation...] and the new sentence [author name, reference, affiliation...]. Please use past tense as if the change s already made.
Example:Under "Methods", first paragraph, the phrase "MMAS will be used to measure adherence.." has been replaced by "XY will be used to measure adherence...".
- During the submission process, choose "Discretionary Corrigendum" as section.
- The title of the manuscript/submission should be "Correction: (original title)" (or "Figure Correction", "Table Correction" or "Metadata Correction" or "Authorship Correction" or "Addendum to the Acknowledgements:").
- Carefully add all authors, ORCIDs and their affiliations in metadata, exactly the same way as in the original (to-be-corrected) article, unless they were wrong in the original article (if the subject of the correction is that an author should have been added, then add the author now, in the correct position. If the affiliation was wrong, enter it correctly now).
- In case of authorship changes: Submit a letter signed by all authors as specified below.
Important note on author additions or removal after publication:
If an author needs to be added ("Metadata Correction"), we follow the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) procedures on change in authorship post-publication (see COPE Flowdiagram). In this case, please explain why the author was omitted in the first place and attach a letter signed by all coauthors declaring that they are agree with the addition and the new order of authors. The same applies when an author needs to be removed. Also describe if the acknowledgement or conflict of interest section need to be changed due to the additional author, or any "all authors contributed equally" footnotes. For details see How to add an author after publication.
What happens when a correction is published?
- We publish a correction statement (similar to those published here)
- The original article will be fixed/amended and on top of that article we display a link to the correction statement, saying that the article was corrected
- We submit the correction and re-submit the original article to various databases, e.g. PubMed Central
- If metadata changes of the original article are required (e.g. author name corrections, corrections in the abstract), we may make these changes also directly in PubMed. The PubMed entry will have a link to the correction as well ("Correction Published in ...")
All this is a very time-consuming process, which is why we ask authors to take the copyediting/proofreading steps before publication seriously.
To remove a paper entirely from the scientific record (e.g. if major errors or scientific misconduct are found) please see the Knowledge Base article on Retractions (What is the process for retractions?).
For staff only: