The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced today that its draft Communication of Retractions, Removals, and Expressions of Concern (CREC) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-45-202X) is available for public comment through December 2. The Recommended Practice is the product of a working group made up of cross-industry stakeholders formed in spring 2022. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation generously provided funding for this Working Group as well as for research at the University of Illinois’ Reducing the Inadvertent Spread of Retracted Science (RISRS) project, which has informed Working Group deliberations and decisions.
Retracted publications are research outputs that are withdrawn, removed, or otherwise invalidated from the scholarly record. There are a number of reasons why publications may be retracted, but in all cases, correcting the record requires that these decisions be clearly communicated and broadly understood so that the research—whether retracted due to error, misconduct, or fraud—is not propagated. The goal of the NISO Recommended Practice is to detail how participants (publishers, aggregators, full-text hosts, libraries, and researchers) may easily ensure that retraction-related metadata can be transmitted and used by both humans and machines. Researchers who discover a publication can then readily identify the status of the research reported.
“Rather than developing new metadata schemas, the working group instead focused on how existing, widely adopted metadata schemas could be leveraged to clearly and consistently transmit retraction-related metadata,” commented Caitlin Bakker, Discovery Technologies Librarian at the University of Regina and co-chair of the Working Group. “We realized that further sponsorship of and detail on existing metadata would be easier to adopt across such a heterogeneous network of technical and organizational structures.”
Rachael Lammey, Director of Product at Crossref and Working Group co-chair, added, “We are eager for potential adopters of the Recommended Practice to read the text and provide feedback that will help us to improve it before it’s finalized and published. There are many stakeholders in this potentially complex metadata transfer workflow, and we hope that readers will consider how they might directly support improved communications across the ecosystem.”
“Developing a systematic cross-industry approach to ensure the public availability of consistent, standardized, interoperable and timely information about retractions was one of the recommendations of RISRS, and we could not be more delighted that CREC has been undertaken by the NISO Working Group,” expressed Jodi Schneider, Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Principal Investigator for the RISRS II: Research and Development towards the Communication of Retractions, Removals, and Expressions of Concern project.
NISO’s Associate Executive Director, Nettie Lagace, stated, “NISO acknowledges the significant effort made by the knowledgeable, energetic CREC Working Group members over the past year to discuss these workflow issues and find common ground. This is a problem that can’t be solved in isolation. Finally, we are grateful to the Sloan Foundation for its support of this important work.”
The draft Recommended Practice, with commenting capability, is available at https://niso.org/standards-committees/crec from October 18 to December 2. NISO also hosted a recent public webinar discussing the work and the public comment period and has made its recording available.
Based in Baltimore, MD, NISO’s mission is to build knowledge, foster discussion, and advance authoritative standards development through collaboration among the cultural, scholarly, scientific, and professional communities. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages with libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website (https://niso.org) or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org