The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) today announced that, together with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), they have been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant of $249,998 to prevent the spread of retracted research.
The CREC (Communication of Retractions, Removals, and Expressions of Concern) project was approved last year by NISO’s voting members. Led by Jodi Schneider, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at UIUC, CREC will build on her previous Sloan Foundation-funded work, Reducing the Inadvertent Spread of Retracted Science (RISRS). This new NISO Recommended Practice will create consistent community practices that enable publishers, preprint repositories, and discovery services to identify and signal that a publication has been retracted or has expressions of concern.
Retractions of scholarly content alert readers to unreliable material and are intended to remove that information from the citable record. However, information about an item’s retraction status is not always communicated, and harm can result when the faulty information continues to spread. The CREC Recommended Practice will help address this issue, by identifying parties involved in the retraction process, and describing their responsibilities, actions, and notification methods, as well as the metadata and display standards needed to communicate retracted research consistently to both humans and machines.
For more information about CREC please see https://www.niso.org/standards-committees/crec.
“The goal of the CREC project is to build more confidence in scientific discovery,” said Professor Schneider. “To give an example of the problem, over 200 articles related to COVID-19 were retracted during the first two years of the pandemic, yet many of those articles were subsequently cited hundreds of times, without showing awareness of the retraction. Thanks to the Sloan Foundation’s generous support, we will be able to make this NISO Recommended Practice a reality, and help stop the spread of faulty information.”
“We are delighted to be working with Professor Schneider and the wider information community to develop CREC as a NISO Recommended Practice,” added Todd Carpenter, NISO’s Executive Director. “The project is a direct outcome of our 2021 NISO Plus conference, at which addressing the problems with signaling retracted status of research was one of three that attendees deemed to be of greatest importance. A CREC Working Group has now been formed, with members from across the information community — librarians, publishers, service providers, and of course Professor Schneider. We look forward to working with them all on this important initiative. We are extremely grateful to the Sloan Foundation for their support to help speed the advancement of this project.”
Based in Baltimore, MD, NISO’s mission is to build knowledge, foster discussion, and advance authoritative standards development through collaboration among the cultural, scholarly, scientific, and professional communities. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages with libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a nonprofit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grantmaking institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in four broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality, equity, diversity, and inclusiveness of scientific institutions and the science workforce; projects to develop or leverage technology to empower research; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists.
The School of Information Sciences, the iSchool at Illinois, is dedicated to shaping the future of information through education, research, and engagement. The iSchool is home to world-class faculty who deliver a high-quality academic experience through programs consistently ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report. Its global research partnerships bring together multidisciplinary experts to address current challenges in the field, and its research projects secure grants from some of the nation’s most prestigious funders. Researchers in the iSchool address contemporary information issues in areas such as data science, human computer interaction, digital libraries, privacy and security, artificial intelligence, bio- and health-informatics, information literacy, library practice and policy, cultural analytics, and youth literature, culture, and services.