Mistakes sometimes make their way into published articles. When these mistakes are discovered, they must be disclosed to the community of scholars so that other researchers do not draw conclusions from false premises. If the error is relatively minor (e.g., mistakes in values of a table that do not impact the results of analyses), the online version of the article is usually corrected so that online readers only ever see the correct version. The article will carry a notice that it has been corrected, and the journal will also publish a separate correction notice describing the nature of the error. If the errors are far reaching, the publisher will retract the article and, depending on the reason for the errors, may publish a replacement corrected version. It is possible to cite the retracted version of the article (e.g., to discuss that it was retracted), and in this post I will explain how to cite a corrected version of an article.
Citing a Corrected (But Not Republished) Article
To cite an article that has been corrected, simply provide the publication details as you would to cite any other journal article. Readers will discover the existence and nature of the corrections when they visit the article.
|Haataja, A., Ahtola, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). A process view on implementing an antibullying curriculum: How teachers differ and what explains the variation. School Psychology Quarterly, 30, 564–576. https://doi.org/10.1037/spq0000121|
- In text: (Haataja, Ahtola, Poskiparta, & Salmivalli, 2015).
Citing a Retracted, Corrected, and Republished Article
To cite an article that has been republished in a corrected version, provide the publication details for the corrected version as you would to cite any other journal article. Often times the authors will include the words “corrected version” or similar in the title to alert readers as to the corrected nature of the article, but if these words are not present in the corrected version, do not add them or make other notations.
|Kullgren, K. A., Tsang, K. K., Ernst, M. M., Carter, B. D., Scott, E. L., & Sullivan, S. K. (2015). Inpatient pediatric psychology consultation-liaison practice survey: Corrected version. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3, 340–351. https://doi.org/10.1037/cpp0000114|
- In text: (Kullgren et al., 2015).
Citing a Correction Notice
It is possible to cite a correction notice as well, and the format follows the regular format for a journal article reference. Here is an example:
|Elliott, E., & Leach, A.-M. (2016). Correction to Elliott and Leach (2016). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23, 99. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap00001214|
- In text: (Elliott & Leach, 2016)
Citing Both Retracted and Corrected Versions of an Article
If you want to cite both an original article that has been retracted and its corrected version, create two separate references. Use the format described in this post for the retracted article.
If both the retracted and corrected articles would have the same in-text citation (by virtue of having the same authors and year of publication), put lowercase letters after the year to distinguish the two, as described in this post on reference twins. (Of course, if the retracted and corrected versions were published in different years, this is not a problem.)
Do you have other questions about citing corrected articles? Leave a comment below.