We have a multi-author conference paper. However, when we try to extend it to a journal paper, one co-author does not respond (and thus we cannot obtain permission of the submission). The extended part itself is hard to form a paper by itself (and it will be incomplete even if possible). Let's assume that this co-author will never respond. What should we do in this situation?

  • 4
    Nag them until they respond. Try calling them up. When you're nagging them, make it clear that you're just asking for permission, and not help in rewriting it. (If they've been confined to a mental institution, go ahead and publish it without their permission.) Dec 4 '18 at 2:19

Check this with the journal you want to submit to. If you don't actually need them to submit this as a journal paper, this is what you'd ideally do:

  1. Let them know you're writing an extension
  2. Write the extended paper
  3. Send the paper to them with a note saying "Unless you let us know otherwise, we plan to submit to journal X at date Y."
  4. Submit, briefly explaining the situation to the editor.
  • Explaining the situation to the editor might not be necessary when it's clear that the unresponsive co-author will never consider objecting. This boils down to personal judgment; some people are more agreeable than others. Dec 4 '18 at 16:37

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