Q: Can I erase the underlines from my published paper?

Detailed Question -

My UTMUT_2_3 paper was accepted and published in Respiratory medicine case reports. At the revision in the process before publication, I underlined the parts to be corrected. There was no button to erase them at the proof, I had no choice but to accept it. When it is published, all the underlines (many) were left as they were. I requested the journal to erase them, but it was not accepted. Will it be a Corrigendum?

1 Answer to this question

Corrigenda and errata are post-publication changes. A corrigendum is published when the author has made a minor error in the article, while publishers issue an erratum for errors introduced during the publishing process.

Ideally, any formatting issue (like the underlines in your case) must be pointed out at the proofing stage to ensure that it is corrected before typesetting and publishing. It seems that you did request them, but it was not rectified at the journal’s end. It is difficult to clearly say if this would fall in the category of a corrigendum or erratum as the error was not introduced by the publisher, but it was not removed either.

We understand your frustration at this situation. Please contact the journal manager as soon as possible and explain the problem. Some publishers allow minor formatting changes, with the original version archived. Since it is just a minor formatting change (not even a spelling or grammar mistake) and the change does not affect the result or conclusion at all, you can request the journal manager to correct the formatting in the online version without having to publish a corrigendum. At most, a simple publisher’s note should suffice. If they do not agree to this, you may have to request them to publish a corrigendum.