There are, unfortunately, no agreed upon standards.  I've done some work over the years in the area of retractions (which raises similar issues to those involved in dealing with errata) and progress has been made in attempting to devise standards, but they are far from universally adopted.  A sample of policy statements related to handling errata, retractions etc., can be found here:

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

National Library of Medicine

International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers
(Scroll down to the document "Preserving the Record of Science" dated April 16, 2006

Council of Science Editors

The STM area, and biomedicine in particular, probably has done the best job of any sector of publishing in developing widely accepted publishing standards, largely through the work of the ICMJE.  But even in that sector, there is far from universal compliance.  


T. Scott Plutchak
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dana Roth
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 6:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: FW: Ref Q: electronic errata

I worked with a fellow physics librarian on this problem several years ago and we found the same 'infuriatingly inconsistent' practices in the S&T literature. It would be nice if publishers added a link from the original article to the errata ... in BOLD at the top of the record on their website.  For example:


This article has an erratum: [erratum]

Electron impact excitation collision strength for transitions in C II
S. S. Tayal
A&A 486, 629-636 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810055


The American Chemical Society has a 'addition/correction' link along with supporting information, etc. (which should be better highlighted).

Multi-Emissive Difluoroboron Dibenzoylmethane Polylactide Exhibiting Intense Fluorescence and Oxygen-Sensitive Room-Temperature Phosphorescence
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2007, 129 (29), pp 8942-8943

Full Text
HTMLHi-Res PDF[278 KB]
Supporting Info
Citing Articles


Although some others (e.g. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society) don't even provide a clue on the original article web page ...

Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540
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-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Melissa Kovac
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 3:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Ref Q: electronic errata

Happy Friday!

I'm hoping to establish how publishers typically deal with an electronic version of an article when an erratum has been published regarding that article in a print issue of the journal.  When I looked in to this a few years ago, I found that publishers were infuriatingly inconsistent in their policies, but I found that out only after contact several publishers directly.  If anyone has any suggestions as to a more expedient means of determining how publishers approach electronic errata, I'd be grateful to hear about them.

Thank you!

Melissa Kovac, MA, MLIS
Research librarian, AORN
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phone: (303) 755-6304, ext. 205, or (800) 755-2676, ext. 205
fax: (303) 368-4460