Blog - Europe PMC: Transparency for preprints: handling withdrawals and removals

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-12-03


"Part of the appeal of preprints is the ability to post new versions, allowing researchers to continuously improve their manuscript and correct it if needed. However, in some cases the data or its interpretation presented in the preprint may be proven incorrect with time. In such cases the authors may wish to withdraw or remove the preprint, rather than posting another version. There could also be instances where preprints are removed for legal reasons, due to authorship disputes, or even as a result of erroneous posting. 

Currently, there are several different ways in which preprint platforms handle such scenarios. In the case of a withdrawal the preprint itself is often still accessible, but it is supplemented with a new version containing a withdrawal notice, which explains that the preprint should not be considered part of the scientific record. This is akin to retractions for peer reviewed journal articles. On the other hand, in the case of a removal all preprint versions are removed and the content is no longer accessible, in some cases with a removal notice replacing the preprint itself. You can see the list of different withdrawal/removal policies in the ASAPbio Preprint Server Directory.

For an archive, such as Europe PMC, it is crucial to follow best practices for handling preprint metadata to enable transparency and build trust in preprints. As a proof-of-concept we now provide a way to search and display withdrawn and removed preprints with appropriate labels for the COVID-19 full text preprint subset. We identify preprint withdrawal or removal notices based on document length (notices are often just a single sentence long) using the Europe PMC plus submission system. Those records are then flagged, manually checked and tagged with the appropriate withdrawal or removal article-type [Hamelers A, Parkin M. A full text collection of COVID-19 preprints in Europe PMC using JATS XML]...."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.preprints oa.pmc oa.europe_pmc oa.transparency oa.repositories oa.repositories.preprints oa.takedowns oa.versions

Date tagged:

12/03/2021, 11:30

Date published:

12/03/2021, 06:30