Law review editors, lawyers, and paralegals are trained to check whether cited legal authorities have been overruled or otherwise abrogated. This is the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do, since it helps avoid embarrassing and credibility-destroying errors. Fortunately, law has long had tools for doing this, from the old process of “Shepardizing” to electronic tools available in Westlaw, Lexis, and elsewhere.
But I’m not sure whether there are similar protocols for checking whether scientific articles or other academic articles have been retracted. My sense is that there are tools for doing this in various fields, but they aren’t well-integrated with each other. Does your law journal or law firm have guidance for doing this? It would be good to share this information, especially if (as I suspect) many journals and firms don’t actually have systems in place to do this.