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Journal retracts two mistakenly published articles

Annals of Surgery announced the retraction of two articles published in 2015, despite the fact that they contained no errors or any evidence of misconduct. The editors explained that the papers had been rejected, but ended up being published online by mistake. “The two articles had been peer reviewed and rejected, like 90% of submissions to our journal,” Keith Lillemoe, a professor at Harvard Medical School, told the Retraction Watch website. “Retraction was the only option, as publishing poor quality papers was not acceptable.” Rajesh Panwar, the author of one of the retracted articles and a researcher at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, complained about how the journal handled the situation. “We did nothing to cause or facilitate this error,” he said, worried about the impact a retraction might have on his academic reputation. “Journals should have very rigorous mechanisms in place to prevent such errors, as they cause unnecessary trouble for the authors.” According to Panwar, the journal had sent a letter rejecting the paper, but two months later it sent another, accepting it.