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The discussion on retractions and corrections heats up

Phil Davis, over at the Scholarly Kitchen, has people thinking about retractions. His blog post "When Bad Science Persists on the Internet" focuses on just one aspect that CrossRef's upcoming CrossMark service is meant to help with: the dire case when an article must be retracted.

As I noted in the Learned Publishing article that started Phil thinking about this, retractions are the most extreme form of corrections and updates that CrossMark is designed to help with.

And Geoff Bilder, the brains behind CrossMark, notes that CrossMark has other interesting applications. BioMed Central has reported on some early experiments in using CrossMark to thread related content together.

Coincidentally, the Journal of Medical Ethics just published an analysis of the growth and causes of retractions in the biomedical literature by Liz Wager from the Committee on Publication Ethics, which shows that retractions are up about tenfold from the 80s to the period from 2006-2009.

Another source for keeping an eye on retractions is watchdog blog Retraction Watch.

So what's the deal with CrossMark now? We are currently in a pilot phase with a few publishers who will be adding CrossMark logos and status information to a few test journals. We are recruiting additional CrossRef members to participate in the next phase of the pilot. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at info@crossref.org. We will plan a webinar soon to provide a demo of the service. I'll also be describing CrossMark at the Society for Scholarly Publishing's (SSP) Annual Meeting and the AAAS Pacific Meeting LIbrary Science Symposium, both in June.

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