Retraction, Withdrawal, and Correction (R-W-C) Policy
We understand that the authors have worked carefully in preparing the manuscripts, and we have undertaken a peer-review process. However, sometimes published articles have the potential to be recalled or even removed for scientific reasons. This should not be done easily and can only happen under extraordinary circumstances. Therefore, corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies, when necessary, will be carried out with strict standards to maintain trust in the authority of its electronic records. Our commitment and policy are to maintain the integrity and completeness of important scientific archives for archival researchers and librarians.
The papers published in the Journal of Molecular Docking will be considered retracted in the publication if:
- They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g., data fabrication) or honest error (e.g., miscalculation or experimental error)
- The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission, or justification (i.e., cases of redundant publication)
- It constitutes plagiarism
- It reports unethical research
To ensure that retractions are handled according to publication best practices and by retraction guidelines from COPE, the Journal of Molecular Docking adopts the following retraction process:
- An article requiring potential retraction is brought to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief. Reports for these articles can come from internal (editors/reviewers) or external (readers).
- According to the COPE flowcharts, the Editor-in-Chief should follow the step-by-step guidelines (including evaluating a response from the article's author in question).
- The final decision on whether to retract is then communicated to the author and, if necessary, any other relevant bodies, such as the author's institution.
- The retraction statement is then posted online and published in the next available issue of the journal.
Note that even if an author holds the copyright for an article, that does not mean they automatically have the right to revoke it after publication. The integrity of published scientific records is paramount, and the retraction guidelines from COPE still apply in such cases.
Authors are allowed to make withdrawals for articles that have been accepted as long as the article has not been officially published as scheduled and the DOI has not been activated. If the author requests to withdraw manuscripts, a formal letter signed by all authors and institutional directors of the first author must be sent to the Editor-in-Chief. There are no fees for the withdrawal process. However, if the article has been published on a schedule and the article's DOI is active, then the withdrawal cannot be made, and the authors must ask for a retraction if the article still wants to be withdrawn. When an article is withdrawn, its PDF and XML content are removed and replaced with PDF and XML that merely states that it has been withdrawn following the Journal Policy and includes a link to the most recent version of the policy document.
Journal of Molecular Docking should consider issuing a correction if:
- A small part of an otherwise reliable publication reports flawed data or proves misleading, especially if this results from honest error.
- The Authors list is incorrect (e.g., a contributor has been omitted, or someone who does not meet authorship criteria has been included).
Corrections to peer-reviewed content fall into one of three categories:
- Publisher correction (erratum): to notify readers of a critical error made by journal staff (usually a production error) that negatively impacts the publication record, the scientific integrity of the article, or the reputation of the authors of the journal.
- Author correction (corrigendum): to notify readers of a critical error made by the authors which harm the publication record, the scientific integrity of the article, or the reputation of the authors or the journal.
- Addendum: an addition to the article by its authors to explain inconsistencies, expand the existing work, or otherwise explain or update the information in the main work.
The Editor-in-Chief decides whether a correction should be issued, sometimes with advice from reviewers or editorial board members. Editor-in-Charge will contact the authors of the paper concerned with a request for clarification, but the final decision about whether a correction is required and which type rests with the Editor-in-Chief. After being approved by all parties, the correction statement is posted online and published in the next available issue of the journal.
It might be necessary to inform readers with an Editorial Note if there is a potential issue with an article that has not yet been fixed. For instance, if the Journal of Molecular Docking learns that research or publishing misconduct may have occurred or if there is a significant disagreement between the authors or between the authors and third parties, an editorial note of this kind may be published. Typically, the Editorial Note will be published while additional inquiries are made and until a more permanent answer has been found (such as releasing a revised "corrected" or a Retraction).
EXPRESSION OF CONCERN
Suppose there are significant concerns about an article, but no concrete evidence can be found to unambiguously support a retraction. In that case, the Journal of Molecular Docking may, in exceptional circumstances, choose to publish an Expression of Concern linked to the problematic article. This might comprise:
- If there is ambiguous proof of research misconduct or publication misbehavior.
- Although there is proof that the article has issues, the authors' institution will not look into the matter.
- A purported misconduct investigation was not fair or conclusive.