A tale of two journals: Elsevier retracts paper after publishing it in the wrong journal

EMIf you happen to pick up this month’s issue of Economic Modelling, there’s a little surprise on page 307—blank pages. Publisher Elsevier has retracted a paper from that space because it “inadvertently published” the paper in the journal. In fact, Elsevier meant to include the paper in the pages of its other journal, Energy Economics.

The paper, “An Approach to Computing Marginal Land-Use Change Carbon Intensities for Bioenergy in Policy Applications,” is most assuredly not about economic modeling. Rather, it describes an approach for assessing carbon emissions from the production of bioenergy crops.

Here’s the retraction notice:

Please be informed that this article has been removed. The Publisher hereby confirms that the retraction of this article was in no way due to any wrong-doing by the authors. Due to a technical issue, this article from “Energy Economics” was inadvertently published in the “Economic Modelling”. Due to this, blank pages will be placed in this issue. As a corrective measure, this article will be reprocessed and published in the correct journal.

The story has a happy ending: The paper has been published online at its correct home, Energy Economics.

First author Marshall Wise at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory says the mix-up didn’t cause any lasting issues:

The paper was submitted and accepted for the journal, Energy Economics. After being completely finished, we were told that it was accidentally published in Economic Modeling.  Elsevier quickly apologized and are proceeding to get the same paper published in Energy Economics shortly.  It was not a major concern, and I trust it should not create any confusion in the long run.

We’ve also reached out to publisher Elsevier for comment on how the mix-up occurred. We’ll update if we hear back.

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4 thoughts on “A tale of two journals: Elsevier retracts paper after publishing it in the wrong journal”

  1. have you noticed that we no longer have “problems”; now we only have “issues”. Sad to see scientific journals as corrupted by mod-speak as popular pubs.

    1. All I can say as a non-native speaker: It must have been 20 years ago now that I got advice from someone not to talk about “problems” at work, because it would make people really nervous, like “oh my God, he is talking about A PROBLEM!”. Always say issue and everyone remains relaxed……
      I always found that very weird and awkward, but it certainly is nothing new.

    2. I’m not sure this is a phenomenon worth mentioning. The two words are largely synonymous in the right context, and typically one is chosen over the other for aesthetic flow – which I believe applies in this statement. Certainly there are issues with scientific journals, but I’m not sure this is indicative of anything.

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