A paper we submitted was rejected without a review because of journal scope issues. After the rejection, I decided to send the same manuscript content (changed formats only according to the journal's guidelines) to another journal where I believe it fits. However, I missed informing other co-authors about the rejection as I presumed it is unnecessary because I am submitting the same version of the MS and we are not particular of the journal and its metrics as long as it is fitting. I experienced the same thing before where the primary and corresponding author did not inform us of the rejection rather send it to another journal without our consent (for me that time it was fine). However, this time one of the co-authors scolded me because of the actions I made and I realised it was wrong. Any advice on how will I handle and respond to this?

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    most of these questions belong to a psychology forum...apologize and say you are learning by doing :-) Apr 8, 2019 at 18:49
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    For future readers - the reasons why it's wrong to not inform co-authors about a resubmission to different journal is that (1) they may have strong opinions about the next journal to submit to (2) they may want to appeal the decision (3) they may want the manuscript modified after learning about hte rejection, etc. - always error on the side of oversharing. OP acknowledges this, but just in case future readers may not understand why such an action is a problem I thought it was important to include this info in a comment Apr 9, 2019 at 3:17
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    @WetlabStudent I think you are missing the main point: I don't want anybody to use MY name for whatever reason without my consent (or at the very least, me knowing about it).
    – YYY
    Apr 9, 2019 at 9:07
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    Just to add one mote point:imagine if several of the authors did this. You would have a double submission, violating the journals terms!
    – Lot
    Apr 9, 2019 at 9:39
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    One thing I heard a lot was that "I got the same treatment that way and didn't realize it was wrong." But one important essence of doing science is to know when to and NOT to generalize. Collaborators come in different flavors based on fields and personalities. It rarely hurts by confirming with them on issues like such. Cat herding, yes, but better than being scratched a million times. Apr 9, 2019 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


You should apologize and admit you were wrong. Don't try to defend your actions. It is a head-slapping error. Send the apology to everyone. Offer to immediately withdraw the submission if anyone desires it. Ask for advice going forward. That should cover it.

All authors need to be on the same page for actions on their work.


You should apologize, but even more importantly, you should understand why it was a mistake, and show that you understand why, so that your coauthors know that you will not make the same mistake in the future.

if various authors of a rejected article resubmit it separately to a distinct journal without coordinating with the other authors, there will be parallel submissions of the same work, potentially to distinct journals (which is not allowed in the rules of most journals), or even several times to the same journal (which is just plain waste of the editor time).

If it was merely a lack of respect of the etiquette of this kind of situation, it would be unreasonable to expect you to "simply" know it. In this case however, it is more like good sense, so humbly apologize and promise to think more symmetrically in the future (not just for this particular situation, for any situation involving collaboration with peers), and hope that you convince them... :)

  • This is field dependent. In many fields, if the author is the lead author this would never happen, no one would be submitting the work as a supporting co-author without talking to the PI or the lead author. This is of course one of the many reason's why it is wrong though (the most important one is probably an issue of general consent). Apr 10, 2019 at 6:27

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