Ask everyONE: Why does my corrected article show up twice in PubMed?

After my paper was published, I discovered an error and contacted PLoS ONE to have it fixed. Now my paper shows up twice in PubMed. Is this a mistake?

If your paper had a formal correction, then this is not a mistake: your paper will be listed on PubMed twice.


In short: it’s because the formal correction counts as a different publication. On the PLoS ONE journal site, the correction of the error will be integrated into the original article and this correction will be announced via text in a red box at the top of the article page; however, in PubMed, the original article and the corrected are listed separately.

In more detail: if a published paper contains a major error, we issue a formal correction to fix that error, and the formal correction has its own DOI, or Date of Original Issue, from PLoS ONE.  The formal correction then receives its own, separate entry in PubMed in order to link to the original document. The corrected entry will contain the word “correction” in its title, while the original will not. PubMed mandates that the original and the correction must both be entered in its database, as you can see here.

Please note that your corrected paper will show up only once in PMC (PubMed central), because the correction will be embedded in the PMC entry.

If you discover an error after publication and you feel that it’s important that your paper be listed only once in PubMed, you have two options. First, you can request that PLoS issue a minor correction, which will appear only on the manuscript page and not on PubMed; alternatively, you can request a republication, although this option is only available to you if you catch the error 48 hours or less after the date of publication in PLoS ONE. An important proviso: it’s ultimately up to the PLoS Publication department to decide what type of correction to issue, so please understand that while we will do our best to accommodate your requests, we’ll also need to keep journal policies and procedures in mind.

As you can see, the corrections process is a little on the complex side, even if you have a PhD like many members of the PLoS community do! Since PLoS ONE doesn’t have an author proofing step, let me put in a plug here to remind you to double-, triple-, and quadruple-check your paper before you approve it for publication.

Emergency Medicine and PMC- Not quite there yet

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Having looked a general medicine journals recently and being less than impressed with some of the most famous journals and their benign stance (absolute authors’ responsibility for PMC archiving) about serving tax payer access interest,  I thought to take a similar look at another specialty.

Emergency medicine occupies an important role in every hospital and larger immediate-care clinic setting. Research that assists with the  immediate preliminary diagnosis , stabilization of patients, and predictive models for efficient staffing models  is growing in quantity.  Are the scholars for this specialty getting their research in PMC?

scimago- Emergency Medicine Ranked Journals 2009

Here’s my chart of the top 10 SCImago ranked Emergency Medicine journals for the year 2009, provided the journal has published a minimum of 300 citable articles in the last three years:


EMERGENCY MEDICINE Sampler: PMC Deposits as a Percentage of 2009 Article Publishing in Select Journals (Journals with at least 300 citable documents over the past three years)

JOURNAL 2009 Articles (SCImago) 2009 PMC Articles PMC Percentage (%)
Annals of Emergency Medicine 408 9 2%
Resuscitation 375 17 5%
Academic Emergency Medicine 255 7 3%
Journal of Burn Care and Research 192 9 5%
Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries 228 3 1%
Injury 396 1 ~~%
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 375 6 1%
Pediatric Emergency Care 222 0 ~~%
Journal of Emergency Medicine 386 1 ~~%
Emergency Medicine Journal 414 1 ~~%

~~% = less than 1%

There are several factors to bear in mind for such a minimal representation.

  • Researchers in this medical specialty may not be receiving much in the way of NIH research funding, eliminating the issue of compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Researchers that balance clinical practice careers in this discipline may have difficulty finding time to address PMC deposit compliance,particularly if their journal does not encourage compliance.
  • There is apparently no open access journal in Emergency Medicine that has established themselves as a top-10 journal ranking. Indeed, the Directory of Open Access Journals does not have a category representation for Emergency Medicine. There are 16 open access journals established in Emergency Medicine listed in DOAJ, some of which are represented in PubMed.

The Culture of Open Access is not a NNT calculation.   The data above reveals low representation in PMC for a select group of highly ranked jouranls.  Unlike the discipline of Infectious Disease which has at least two open access journals that are highly ranked, the major peer-reviewed journals for Emergency Medicine in the chart above, for the most part, continue in traditional toll-based publishing models, where authors seek to enhance their academic reputation by providing free content to publishers that then control it and sell access back to libraries where the research took place.  And unlike the perception that infectious public health problems require more urgent and long-term open sharing of research results to discover cures and administer care for millions at risk, the academic work of Emergency Medicine is a product of  traditional hospital culture and short-term outcomes like stabilizing a patient.