A paper was rejected on the reviewer’s recommendation. The editor met one of the senior authors at a conference and out of politeness apologised for rejecting his paper. He was surprised to learn that the senior author had no knowledge of this paper and that the corresponding author had written papers using the senior author’s name without his knowledge in the past. This prompted the editor to write to all the authors. Two others replied both saying that they had seen the preliminary draft of the paper several years ago but had not heard anything since. What should be done now?
_ The editor should have written to the corresponding author first asking for an explanation, although it was expected that the author would simply offer an apology. It may of, course, have been a genuine mistake or absent mindedness. _ Refer back to the original submission letter to see if all of the authors have signed it.
The editor wrote to the corresponding author, giving a fairly long deadline for reply. None was forthcoming. The editor has now written to the institution and has been told that the corresponding author has indeed got a ‘‘mental illness’’ but is nevertheless investigating. The editor has also informed all the other authors that the journal will not be accepting any papers from the corresponding author.