A paper was rejected after peer review. Some time later a researcher wrote to say that he had been involved at the beginning of the study, but had withdrawn his name because he felt the study was defective. He had heard that the study had been submitted for publication, and thought it better that the editors were made aware of his doubts before publication rather than afterwards. As the paper had already been rejected, these questions didn’t arise. But the editor asked the author of the letter, who had written in confidence, if he might copy his reply to the authors of the rejected study. Does COPE think that the editor has done the right thing, and what more might be done?
The author did not want the editor to forward a copy of the editor’s letter to the other authors of the rejected study. No further action was required.