I recently published a book chapter with my supervisor. I just realized that I messed up two dates in the chapter. For the first one, the original sentence is like "xx policy decisions were published in 2004", but the year should be 2015. Another one "xx policy will be abolished in 2013 ", but it should be 2023.

The chapter is now published online and in hardcopy.

I wonder whether it's necessary to submit a Corrigendum? The book chapter is about reviewing the current literature on a specific topic (not an empirical study). I worry this will affect my reputation.

  • 1
    Many publications have small errors. The question you ought to ask is whether these mistakes fundamentally alter the message a reader would get. Are the mistakes in crucial sentences of the paper, or in side comments that only provide context? – Wolfgang Bangerth Apr 21 '19 at 23:39
  • Thank you for your response. The two dates are related to changes in a public policy in a country. The overall message is that there are changes and future research should consider these changes. Readers could find the correct dates online. I don't think it's a crucial sentence, but I worry that others may perceive me as a careless researcher who makes such a foolish mistake. – Superarrow Apr 22 '19 at 0:16
  • 1
    No, these things happen. As I say, the question is whether this changes how a reader would read your article. For example, if the article is about the fact that the European Union had passed such regulations earlier than the US, then the dates matter. If the article is about the fact that the European Union has passed such regulations whereas the US has not, then maybe the exact dates don't matter. – Wolfgang Bangerth Apr 22 '19 at 2:43

For minor corrigenda (such as this), some scholars merely put it on their web site. Likely many of your future papers will also have errors, so keeping a list of all of them in one place may be the best choice.

  • Thank you very much! I wonder what do you mean by keeping a list of all of them in one place? Do you mean I should not report it to the editor but be aware of it? – Superarrow Apr 21 '19 at 22:12

Leaving it unfixed will affect your reputation. Fixing it is much less likely to.

If you have a publisher, contact them with the correction. If self-published, you can just fix it and give a new printing (not publication) date.

Be careful, however, if you have given up copyright, and let the publisher handle the details.

If you have a web site related to your work, you can also publish a correction there.

Note that no one know why the error was made, nor who made it, so it really isn't a reputation issue unless left uncorrected. .

  • Thank you, Dr. Buffy for your response. Another concern I have is that no corrigendum has been published in the book series since it was first established. I am concerned that they won't accept publishing Corrigendum. The book series have an overall impact factor of 1.2 – Superarrow Apr 21 '19 at 21:18
  • 1
    @Superarrow Even if you have good reason to think your corrigendum won't be published, I suggest sending it to the editor anyway (in addition to putting it in other places like your web site). There's a chance some other chapter in the book will have more serious errors, making it necessary for the editor and publishers to publish a correction (even if they'd rather not). Then your corrigendum might as well be included along with the more serious one(s). – Andreas Blass Apr 22 '19 at 0:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.