Q: Is it possible to republish the revised version of a previously retracted paper?

Detailed Question -

Pretend that a retracted paper was edited as is appropriate. Its title, abstract and introduction have been altered as well. But the edited and the retracted papers (the latter is still available in the online version of the journal) have multiple similarities in their expositions. Would it be ethical to resubmit the edited paper into another journal without referencing/acknowledging the retracted one? Otherwise, how the corrected but previously retracted paper can be resubmitted for publication?

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Answer:

There have been instances of retracted papers being republished after revision.  If you feel you have successfully corrected all the problems because of which the paper was retracted, there is no reason why you should not resubmit it. However, it would be unethical to do this without informing the journal editor. I think it would be best to be honest about it and explain to the editor at the time of submission that this paper is based on an earlier retracted paper. Ideally, you should also cite the retracted paper and mention in the introduction that you are publishing a revised version of the study to correct the scientific record. However, if you are unsure about this, you can ask the editor. If the editor is taken into confidence, he/she will not mistrust your intentions; rather, he/she will be able to guide you. Additionally, wherever there is an overlap with the retracted paper, try to rephrase the text so that you can clear plagiarism check at the journal end.


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