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2021

Case

Deceased author and author delaying publication

21-11

The journal accepted a manuscript for publication with two authors. One of the authors passed away 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.

Case

Ethics approval and consent

21-04

A complainant raised six articles to the attention of the editor-in-chief, with concerns about ethical approval and possible conflicts of interest regarding the way that approval was granted. The studies all involved minority populations. 

Case

Can two DOIs be assigned to the same manuscript?

21-06

A preprint server owned by a commercial publishing company posted a paper and assigned a DOI to the preprint. The manuscript was then submitted to peer reviewed journal X, owned by a different publisher. Assuming acceptance at the journal, can the article be published under a different DOI belonging to journal X?

Case

Author alleges discrimination by institutional report

21-03

In 2020, the corresponding author of an article published online three years previously notified the journal of an authorship conflict and explained that the institution was requesting retraction. Because authorship conflict does not typically warrant retraction, the publisher requested further details from the author and the author's institution about the conflict.

Case

Author anonymity at the final proofreading stages

21-02

A newly relaunched open access, peer reviewed journal operates a double blind peer-review system. At all stages of the review, until the decision to accept has been taken, neither the author nor the reviewer can identify the other. The journal always uses at least two reviewers, who are also unaware of the identity of each other.

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