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Sage corrections and retractions policy

Version of Record

When an article is published in its final form it is considered the “Version of Record” (VoR). The VoR establishes the expectation that that article can be relied upon as accurate, complete, and citable. Sage is committed to preserving the integrity and transparency of the VoR. Sage defines the VoR as (i) the article paginated in a volume and issue or (ii) the initial article publication for continuous publication Open Access journals; in both cases, the VoR includes any post-publication corrections.  (Continuous publication Open Access journals do not publish any additional versions such as paginated issue/volume versions.)

Post publication Corrections

Sage issue post-publication notifications to address any changes to the version of record that include:

  1. Errors or omissions that impact readability, indexing or compliance to Sage or journal policy;
  2. Errors or concerns related to the validity or integrity of the article;

Errors or omissions that impact readability, indexing or compliance to Sage policy 

As articles can be read and cited as soon as they are published (including OnlineFirst publication), any changes thereafter could potentially impact those who read and cited the earlier version. Sage provides authors with an opportunity to review article proofs prior to publication with the express goal of ensuring accuracy of the content. However, in some cases corrections may be required post-publication. These may be made at the discretion of the journal and Sage, with the understanding that not all requests for post-publication changes will be permitted.

Correction notice

A correction notice will be issued when it is necessary to correct an error or omission which may be integral to the reading, understanding or interpretation of the article.

Any errors of factual significance or major errors will be highlighted with the publication of a separate corrigendum (author error) or erratum (publisher error) highlighting the changes, provided the scholarly validity and integrity of the article remain intact. If the article is updated, a correction footnote will highlight the change(s) and reference the corrigendum or erratum.. All corrigenda and errata will be linked to the original article.

Multiple major errors or omissions in the article that may impact the validity of the research will be investigated by Sage in collaboration with the Journal Editor in line with COPE guidelines. If appropriate, a corrigendum will be written in collaboration with authors, journal editor and Sage.

Minor errors in an article may be highlighted using a footnote within the corrected article to highlight the change(s).

Errors or concerns related to the validity or integrity of the article

In accordance with our Complaints and Appeals Policy all concerns brought to Sage will be investigated in line with COPE guidelines and Sage policies.

Expression of Concern

We will issue an expression of concern on a published article if:

  • We are made aware of serious concerns such as concerns with potential to mislead readers,
  • We become aware of concerns relating to serious research or publication misconduct,
  • Well-founded concerns where an investigation has been inconclusive, or
  • If an investigation into a well-founded concern is ongoing and likely to take some time to resolve.

The expression of concern will be published after notifying the authors, but we shall not require author approval or agreement. Sage may choose to publish materials, figures or data provided by authors as part of an ongoing investigation to notify readers. Sage may need to notify the authors’ institution to seek further resolution to the matter or other journals/publishers if multiple articles are involved. The expression of concern will be linked to the published article(s) it is related to and may be replaced by a corrigendum or a retraction or may exist in perpetuity if an investigation remains inconclusive.


Sage follows COPE Retraction Guidelines and a retraction will be issued to alert readers to major errors or breaches of scholarly integrity. An article maybe retracted by Sage if after an investigation and editorial assessment, the results or the conclusions cannot be relied upon for any reason.

Sage may retract an article if:

  • The article contains honest errors or errors due to research or publication misconduct,
  • If the article was accepted as a result of compromised peer review,
  • If authors have been unable to satisfactorily resolve the concerns or queries raised on their article,
  • If authors cannot be verified, are unable to provide underlying raw data and/or images, or are unable to provide evidence they undertook the research themselves.

Authors may choose to request retraction of their own article by emailing These requests will be reviewed by Sage and the Journal Editor and may be declined if they are not in line with COPE guidance and Sage policies, or if they have been made during a Sage-initiated investigation.

All retraction notices will explain the reasons for retraction and will be linked to the original article. . Authors will be notified and given the opportunity to provide comments. We do not seek or require author approval for retractions and the decision to retract will be reconsidered only if new evidence comes to light. See Complaints and Appeals Policy for further details.

Sage may choose to publish materials, figures or data provided by authors as part of the investigation to notify readers if necessary. Sage may notify the authors’ institution(s) or other journals/publishers if multiple articles are affected.

Please note: Article Processing Charges (APCs) are not refunded if an article is retracted.


Sage upholds the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) guidelines on the Preservation of the Objective Record of Science, and we will not remove the article or parts of it unless legally required to do so, i.e.:

  1. The privacy of a participant has been inappropriately violated,
  2. The article contains errors that would result in a risk to the public if followed,
  3. The article makes defamatory comments about others or their work.

Corrections to Supplemental Material files and Research Data files

Supplemental Material files published by Sage are considered permanent records. Supplemental Material files and Research Data files may be hosted on an open-source repository and are assigned DOIs. If there is a substantive change to a Supplemental Material file or Research Data file, Sage may publish a notice to alert all readers. If the change is considered not to be significant then a replacement file may be released, without the need for separate notification. Versioning details will be added to the first page of the file. 

Sage’s Crossmark Policy

Building upon our commitment of a reliable Version of Record and our Corrections policy, as outlined above, Sage also participates in the Crossmark program. This program allows readers to access the status of a piece of published content quickly and easily, including updates, corrections, and retractions, as well as provide valuable article metadata.

On Sage Journals you will now see the Crossmark button, as shown below, both on HTML and PDF versions of our articles. Clicking on the button makes a pop-up box appear that shows the reader the current status of the article (for example, up-to-date, updates available, or retracted), as well as also displaying any additional information or metadata Sage has supplied to Crossmark.

In addition to applying this to new content going forward, we will also be adding the Crossmark button to content published since 2011.

Learn more about Crossmark, a multi-publisher initiative from Crossref, at