Corrections and Withdrawals

CommonKnowledge is intended to provide persistent access to scholarly and creative works—to serve as an authoritative record of each work’s provenance and to maintain a reliable version of record for each work. As such, items contributed to CommonKnowledge should be considered permanent additions to the scholarly record. However, in some instances, it may be appropriate to provide access to a corrected version of a work or to withdraw a work from CommonKnowledge.The options for correction or withdrawal will vary upon the nature of the work and the unique circumstances of the request for such action.

Corrections or Retractions of Published Works

In order to ensure that all users who access scholarly articles (pre-prints, post-prints, or published PDFs) through CommonKnowledge have an avenue to be apprised of corrections or retractions made by the article’s publisher, the DOI or other persistent identifier that links to the article on the publisher’s website will be provided within the metadata for each article posted in CommonKnowledge.

If the University Library is notified of a correction or retraction to a published article, an appropriate prominent notation will be made in the CommonKnowledge record and a link to the notice of correction or retraction provided within the metadata for that article. If possible for corrected articles, an updated version of the article will be posted, and access to the original version will be maintained as a supplemental file. For retracted articles, access to the original version will be maintained, but a watermark will be added to the document to indicate its retraction by the publisher.

Correction or Withdrawal of Unpublished Works

Corrections and Revised Editions

In general, corrections to unpublished works* contributed to CommonKnowledge will only be permitted if the error(s) for which correction is requested by the author(s) seriously affect the scholarly record (e.g., if accuracy/intended meaning, scientific reproducibility, or author reputation is judged to be compromised). Errors in an unpublished work that do not affect the contribution in a material way (e.g. minor grammatical or typographical errors that do not affect the meaning of the work), and that were not introduced by the University Libraries in the process of posting the work to CommonKnowledge, will usually not be corrected. In instances where a correction is made to a work, the corrected work will be made available as the primary download, but an errata note will be added to the metadata record that describes that nature of the correction and the date the corrected work became available. The original version of the work will be retained within CommonKnowledge, but will not be visible or accessible to users.

In some cases, a contributor may request that a revised edition of a posted work be made available. A revised edition of a work distinguished from a corrected work in that new or updated content is added to the original work for a purpose other than correcting an error. For example, an author may add new content to an open textbook or open educational resource. In such cases, the revised edition of the work may either (a) replace the original edition, but with access to the original edition retained as a supplemental file, or (b) be uploaded as a new item with a distinct metadata record that includes an appropriate version statement and a link back to the original/previous edition. In the latter instance, the metadata record (and potentially cover/title page) for the original/previous edition will be amended to include a prominent link to the newer edition.

Requests for corrections or uploading of a revised edition of a work should be made to the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian.

*This does not include pre-prints or post-prints of works that were published in a final form elsewhere; providing a link in the CommonKnowledge metadata record to the final published work is considered sufficient. Corrections or retractions of the final published article will be addressed as described in the previous section.


In order to preserve the integrity and accuracy of the scholarly record, works contributed to CommonKnowledge will only be withdrawn under limited circumstances. Such circumstances include notification by an author, contributor, or other affected party that a work: (a) contains factual inaccuracies, (b) contains plagiarism, (c) infringes on copyright or any other intellectual property right, (d) infringes on an individual or corporate privacy right, or (e) includes defamatory statements. [Note: Works will not be withdrawn if the contributing author (i.e. faculty or staff member) leaves the employ of Pacific University (in such cases, updated contact information may be added to the record, but the item metadata and access will not be changed).]

Any request for withdrawal must be made to the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian. Requests based on claims of copyright infringement will be subject to the CommonKnowledge Take-Down Policy; requests based on claims of defamation will be handled as described in the Defamation section. All other requests are subject to the following procedures:

  • Requests for withdrawal may be made by authors or contributors of the work in question, or by any other affected party.
  • Request must be made in writing.
  • Pending a final determination, full-text access to the work in question will be temporarily disabled for all users.
  • No content will be permanently removed from CommonKnowledge without an attempt to reach the author.
  • All determinations as to permanent withdrawal will be made within (10) working days of the initial request.

If it is determined that a work should be withdrawn from CommonKnowledge, full-text access to that work will be removed permanently for all users. However, in order to preserve the scholarly record—and because the withdrawn work may have been cited using the CommonKnowledge URL—a metadata “tombstone” will be maintained at the original URL. This will include the original metadata for the work, as well as a note in the record that describes the purpose for the withdrawal: either “Removed at author’s request”, “Removed at Pacific University Libraries’ discretion”, or “Removed by legal order”. This metadata record will be visible, but will be removed from further indexing by Web search engines and made unavailable for metadata harvesting.