Science is not static. Publications, especially PDFs, are.
That is why we use Crossmark (an initiative of Crossref) as a way of keeping track of the changes that our content may undergo. These changes, if they do occur, may be as minor as changes in formatting and spelling. But there may be major changes, such as corrections in the author's name, modifications in the bibliographic information, or full-blown retractions.
You will see the Crossmark logo throughout our content, both in the HTML and PDF versions of our publications (even if there hasn't been any changes). Aside from keeping track of changes in content, the Crossmark button will give you metadata of the publication. If you click on it, you will see the current status of the document, and any additional information it may contain.
By using Crossmark, here at the Journal of Trial and Error we commit to maintaining the content we publish, and to alerting readers to changes if and when they occur.
This is what the Crossmark logo looks like:
The evolving nature of science marks publications as a sort of historical landmark, a point in time reflecting the thought of the scientific community. It is thus important to keep them publicly visible and unaltered for future reference, despite being outdated, wrong, or mistaken. At JOTE we don’t see publications as stable, final objects. Modifications may be necessary, and depending on their nature we offer several options for our authors and editors to point readers to changes that have taken place since publication. All of these changes will be notified to Crossmark.
Formal and minor modifications (errata) that do not alter the main conclusion(s) of the publication (e.g. grammatical and typographical errors, bibliographic errors, errors in authors’ details). These modifications also include changes in the data that do not alter the statistical results. If the modifications are due to errors on the author(s)'s side, these will be added as commentaries in our PubPub environment. Authors can simply add commentaries to either specific passages in the publication, or to the publication as a whole. The PubPub HTML version of the publication will be automatically updated, and the PDF versions will be modified accordingly by the editorial team.
Major modifications (corrigendum) are those that compromise the reproducibility, validity, and/or accuracy of the results. These are cases in which the publication is substantially altered, and the results need a reinterpretation. In cases such as honest mistakes in data collection or analysis, or the (mis)use of archival data, we will request our authors to submit a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in which the error is explained, and the results are reinterpreted. The original publication, both in HTML and PDF versions, will be marked with a sign indicating that a corrigenda is available.
Retractions will occur only in grave instances of breaking professional ethical codes such as the Core Practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (https://publicationethics.org/core-practices) or discipline-specific ethical guidelines. These instances refer to cases of e.g., multiple submission, partial or full plagiarism, data falsification or fabrication, bogus authorship, missing or fabricating the approval of local (e.g., university, research centre) ethical committee for performing animal or human research, and other considerable breaches in ethical misconduct. Retractions will be decided by the editorial team of JOTE on a case-by-case basis, and a signed document will be asked to the authors in which the reason of retraction is explained. The HTML version of the publication will be removed and replaced by a retraction note. The PDF version of the retracted publication will still be publicly available to preserve the integrity of the record, but a large permanent watermark will be introduced in order to warn readers of the epistemic and/or ethical discredit of the publication.