A manuscript submitted to journal X was remarkably similar to a paper already published in journal Y. The similarities were noticed by one of the peer reviewers for journal X. The paper has been rejected by journal X but the editor has now written to each of the authors asking for an explanation and has told them that if a reasonable explanation is not forthcoming, she will inform the dean of the medical faculty from where the paper was submitted.
Does COPE think the editor has acted appropriately?
COPE was advised that the paper has been rejected. The editor wrote to each of the six authors threatening them with being reported to the dean if their explanations were unsatisfactory. The editor received five replies with four different excuses. The editor was advised to write to the dean of the medical school and include the authors’ replies to the dean too.
The editor wrote to the dean of the relevant medical school enclosing the copies of the ?ve replies. A year later no reply has been forthcoming.