What warrants an erratum and why the old publishing model must change

Friday AM my day started with an email which I have marked up and added links to

Dear Dr. Ekins:

It has come to our attention that an error was identified in your recent Perspective entitled “The parallel worlds of public and commercial bioactive chemistry data” published in the March 12, 2015 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (please see attached).  We would like to request that you submit an Additions and Corrections to the Journal (instructions attached).


An editor at J Med Chem


I just uploaded the letter from CAS to Figshare.

During Friday I issued the requested erratum and then retracted it latter in the day when I realized there was in fact no error. I emailed and left calls for the editor and admin so Monday should be fun..

What changed my mind was two Independent scientists and longtime SciFinder users / authors on the paper came to the same conclusion that in mid 2014 there was a problem with this patent in SciFinder (Chris Southan has now blogged more on it).

Its all a storm in a teacup as I thought we were pretty balanced in the article. Interestingly when the paper went through extensive review and major revisions no reviewer seemed to pick up on the same problem for CAS.

I think this highlights the difficulty with the old fashioned publishing model.

1. Authors submit paper to Journal on work they did months/ years ago

2. Months later they get reviews back

3. Weeks later they respond to reviews

4. Months later they get re-reviews back

5. Weeks later the re-respond to authors

6. Weeks later it is accepted

7. Days later it goes ASAP

8. weeks later proofs corrected and online

9. Months later paper published

10. By the time an article publishes it could reference databases and other sources long out of date and changed.

The publishing model ACS and other journals / societies use is way out of date and is not relevant anymore, why should it take > 6 months to go from submission to publication of a perspective? This is not even a research article where timeliness is even more critical.

And yet we still submit to ACS journals….Definitely as scientists we need more options.






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