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2021

Case

Suspicious responses to authorship change requests

21-15

A journal received a request for multiple changes to the authorship list after the manuscript was accepted. Originally, there were five co-authors. After acceptance, the journal received the following requests from author A, the corresponding author and co-first author: remove one of the co-authors (author D), add a new co-author (author E), reorder the list of authors, and change the designated co-first authors.

Case

Request to remove an author post-publication

21-12

A paper was submitted to a journal by authors A and B. The paper was accepted and then published in the journal. Several months after final publication, author A contacted the journal asking for their name and their biography to be removed from the article. Author A stated that they wished to distance themselves from the research.
 

Case

Change of corresponding author after manuscript published online

21-14

On submission of a manuscript to a journal, one of the authors was indicated as the corresponding author. During the submission, review, and revision process, and also through copyediting and proofreading, the corresponding author responded to all emails, signed the publishing agreements, and was generally available. At this time, the authors of the manuscript did not mention a possible change of the corresponding author.

Case

Authorship dispute involving a commercial institution

21-13

A paper was published in a journal. After publication, an associate editor of the journal said that they and other colleagues should have been authors on the paper. They cited a patent they helped write that overlapped with the article as proof that they should be authors on the paper. The authors of the paper refuse to add the associate editor and colleagues as authors.
 

Case

Deceased author and author delaying publication

21-11

The journal accepted a manuscript for publication with two authors. One of the authors died before signing the copyright. This manuscript is now ready for galley proof approval from the surviving author.

Case

Authorship of a commentary

21-10

An associate editor invited a commentary to be written by one of the peer reviewers. When the commentary was submitted, the associate editor was a co-author. There could be the appearance of a conflict in the decision to accept the article on which the commentary was based if the associate editor is an author on the commentary.

Question for the Forum

Case

Institutions paying authors to be named on papers

21-09

Some academic institutions are paying authors for the name of the institution to be included in the manuscript so that the institution has an increased number of publications in a given year. The institution gives the author payment and the author terms it as ‘funding’ or ‘grant’, which is not the case. The author publishes the research article in a journal with two affiliations and explains in the acknowledgment section that the institution gave a partial grant.

Case

Duplicate submission and request for withdrawal

21-08

A paper was submitted to journal A and received a ‘revision’ decision. At some point following this decision, the authors emailed the journal to request withdrawal, citing inconsistencies in their data and subsequent conclusions. A search of the literature showed that the same paper (with the same authors) was published in journal B the day before the withdrawal request. Clearly, the authors waited for the acceptance before withdrawing from journal A.

Case

Unresponsive authors delaying publication

21-05

The journal received a submission which proceeded through peer review and was recommended for publication. The authors responded to the revision letter, providing a detailed itemised list of changes and revised their manuscript accordingly. The revised manuscript was subsequently accepted for publication. 

Case

Manuscript submitted based on retracted paper

21-07

A paper was published in a journal. After publication, the author contacted the journal to ask for withdrawal of the paper because of some mistakes. After careful and considered review of the content of this paper by a duly constituted expert committee, the paper was found to be incomplete due to the dependent variable used in the analysis and the literature review used.

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