How do I say to the editor that I want to withdraw my paper from his journal?

I had submitted a paper to a journal 10 days back. When I checked recently, the status was showing "Under Review".

But just today, one of my friends found a serious flaw in one of my results! Now I need to withdraw my paper from the journal so that we both can review it and then send it again.

I also want to include my friend's name as a co-author because he helped me a lot.

Can I mail the journal editor saying I want to withdraw? It has been only a 3-4 days the status is showing "Under Review".

  • 4
    Directly, as if the editor were an actual human being.
    – JeffE
    Sep 14, 2018 at 18:20
  • 1
    If the flaw affects the performance margin but does not make the main conclusion of the study impossible - I would recommend you start working on revised version immediately, while waiting for the first review feedback. In my experience, reviewers will focus on methodology, relatedness to fundamental & recent research in the field, presentation of the research and paper structure - if the flaw is result of code error, dataset issue etc. and not consequence of irrational method design decision - be assured, the reviewers will not take the flaw that critical, it is ok to fix it in revised ver.
    – hardyVeles
    Sep 14, 2018 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


Until you give up copyright to your work it is yours. Yes, you can withdraw it. However, you might be better served by sending a note that you have found a flaw and expect to have a revision of the paper within X days, where X is reasonably small. Ask how to proceed and ask if the editor can just put the paper on hold for the interim.

I can't predict the response, but it might be better than withdrawing it altogether. But, yes, you can do that.

Adding the colleague as a co-author should also offer no difficulties.

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