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IOP Science

Can an Accepted Manuscript be withdrawn or retracted?

Once an accepted manuscript or published article is available online, it is considered to be a part of the permanent scholarly record and it cannot be withdrawn, unless the research is found to: 

  • Contain defamatory content. 
  • Violate the privacy of a research subject. 
  • Be the subject of a court order. 
  • Pose a serious health risk to the general public if acted upon. 

In instances where the article available online is not the subject of any of the above, it can be retracted, however, if it meets the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) retraction guidelines. As a member of COPE, we will investigate any scientific or legal concern regarding an accepted manuscript or published paper following the COPE guidelines and retract the manuscript if needed. 

When articles are retracted they are not removed from the website, as per COPE guidelines, they are retained with a clear notice of retraction and bibliographic databases are notified. Retaining the original work ensures transparency of the published record, as online versions may have been accessed and cited by researchers prior to retraction. Copyright still applies to retracted articles, meaning permission may be required to re-use the retracted work, or submit the retracted work to another journal. 

To request a withdrawal or retraction, please contact the IOP Publishing Research Integrity Team.