Scientific record: Class uncorrected errors as misconduct

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
531,
Page:
173
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/531173e
Published online

Post-publication peer review is becoming increasingly popular, but authors need more incentive to self-correct and amend the scientific record (see D. B. Allison et al. Nature 530, 2729; 2016). We propose that failure by authors to correct their mistakes should be classified as scientific misconduct. This policy has already been implemented by our institute, and we encourage research institutions and funding bodies to follow suit (see go.nature.com/dgifft).

The responsibility to correct errors lies mainly with the criticized authors. Snubbing criticism by not addressing it promptly runs counter to our fundamental ethos as scientists, and threatens to erode society's trust in the scientific community.

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Affiliations

  1. The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK.

    • Sophien Kamoun &
    • Cyril Zipfel

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Comments

  1. Report this comment #67711

    Kenneth Pimple said:

    What's the timeline? How long does one have to correct one's mistakes? If they aren't corrected in X days/weeks/years, is the punishment automatic? What is the punishment?

    One might see that I am skeptical of this at least as a practical issue. I would much prefer a positive approach – strokes of some kind for correcting mistakes, by the original researcher or anyone else. That's an incentive; punishing those who do not correct their mistakes is a disincentive. There are too many disincentives already.

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