Recently I've had three different sets of co-authors give up on the publication process. Here are the three cases:
Publication was rejected on the basis that additional work was needed, amounting to repeating all the experiments. One co-author has retired, another left academia, and a third just isn't interested in the field anymore (and has also left to work elsewhere). To do all of the work myself seems a little unreasonable if after all that I'm still 3rd author.
Publication was desk rejected by multiple journals (5 so far) due to either being "too theoretical" or "too applied". The other authors wanted to just turn it into a tech report, but after I started reformatting it, they decided they didn't care if it got published anymore due to the multiple rejections and wanting to move on to other things. 2nd author left our organization recently.
Publication has been written, but one of the authors refuses to move forward with the submission process because they are unsure if our conclusions are right. Unless we have a "bullet proof" (their words) interpretation of our results, we can't submit.
I don't want to give up, but it's demotivating to have co-authors who don't care. Is it worth it to keep fighting these battles all by myself if they still benefit?