A letter containing details of a case report was submitted in February 1999. The authors were from Japan. After peer review and revision, the case report was accepted and a proof was sent to the authors. Two anonymous letters were then received, one on April 29 and another on 12 May, both from Japan. Both letters claimed that the author “has prized honour above everything else” and that he had submitted “nonsense data.” Our correspondents were “absolutely astonished” that we are publishing this letter. Given these anonymous claims, what should be done next?
_ The immediate reaction is to dismiss them if they are anonymous but they might be serious. _ Editor advised to write to author and his head of department to ask if they have concerns, citing a similar experience that had been submitted to COPE before where the anonymous complaint was found to be justified.
The head of department was contacted, but no reply was received.