Skip to main content

NISO RP-45-2024, Communication of Retractions, Removals, and Expressions of Concern (CREC)


Publications may be retracted or removed, or expressions of concern (EoCs) may be issued, for a broad range of reasons, including research misconduct and serious error. While retractions are valuable mechanisms by which to correct the scientific and scholarly record, correcting the record requires that these decisions be clearly communicated and broadly understood. Unclear and inconsistent representation of the retracted status of published works may ultimately contribute to continued uncritical use of these invalidated publications in the scholarly literature.  

The primary aim of this Recommended Practice is to establish best practices for metadata creation, transfer, and display for both the original publication and the statement of retraction, removal, or EoC, with the goal of facilitating the timely and efficient communication of information to all relevant stakeholders. Although retraction remains relatively rare, rates of retraction are increasing, and mass retractions have emerged. The need for best practices for metadata transfer and display has increased along with growth in retractions, removals (which are still rare and should be justified), and EoCs.  It is crucial that researchers who discover a publication be able to identify the editorial status of the published item. It is therefore necessary that the identification of retracted items, removed content, and EoCs be effectively communicated to human researchers and that these same features be evident to machine-reading and other automated processes, as well as to other interested parties in the scholarly information workflow.