A manuscript was submitted which described the effect of a drug on cell turnover and apoptosis in a deletion mouse model of a common cancer. One of the reviewers noted that a very similar paper by the same authors had been published in another journal in the same specialty,and went to the trouble of underlining blocks of text that were identical in both papers. In one paper the authors had reported “tumour volume” whereas in the other they had reported “tumour multiplicity”— both measures of tumour mass. This was pointed out to the authors who “recognised our concern” and decided to withdraw the manuscript. However, they indicated that they would revise the manuscript and resubmit it to the journal for further consideration at a later date. What should the editor do?
The editor was advised to report this case to the head of the author’s institution.
The paper was rejected, but the case was not referred to the head of the author’s institution.