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I was a junior researcher and I submitted a paper to journal A. After not having any response from journal A, I submitted my paper to journal B. After some months, journal A mailed me to say that my paper was accepted.

I immediately replied to journal A saying that I wanted to withdraw my paper. They reverted within minutes that they have already published and paid x money for publishing. I insisted that I wanted to withdraw and they mailed me to pay y amount of money for withdrawal, which I paid. Then they mailed me saying that my withdrawal is complete. I have not signed any copyright form with journal A.

After a few days journal B published my paper. Now after one year, I see my name in a retraction list citing that journal A has retracted my paper due to “author’s personal concerns.”

How this can affect my career? I withdrew my paper, so how can journal A publish it without a copyright form? On the same day that they mailed me to say that my paper had been accepted, I reverted and wanted to withdraw. Can they publish it and then retarct it? What could be the consequences on me?

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    You should complete the withdrawal before posting in another journal. Did you contact journal A, after 3 weeks or 6 weeks asking about progress? Publishing takes time...
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 19, 2019 at 15:10
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    They reverted within minutes that they have already published and paid x money for publishing. I insisted that I wanted to withdraw and they mailed me to pay y amount of money for withdrawal, which I paid. — You got scammed.
    – JeffE
    Jul 19, 2019 at 20:18

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Within minutes they replied that they have already published, requesting me to pay x money for the publication fee.

This sounds like Journal A was a predatory publication (i.e., a scam without real peer review), and not actually a reputed journal. If this is indeed the case, then having a publication withdrawn from them may actually be better for your reputation than actually having published with them.

That said, you shouldn't submit to a second journal until you've already withdrawn from the first. In the future, follow that procedure and also make sure that you're actually dealing with a reputed journal before you submit!

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  • +1 for the unexpected (to me, as I was reading) observation "having a publication withdrawn from them may actually be better for your reputation than actually having published with them". Jul 19, 2019 at 16:24
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    It actually kind of sounds like both journals may be predatory without any real review, and this whole episode is actually "consequences of not using an academic advisor."
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 19, 2019 at 16:48
  • I don't see any concerns even if both are reputable journals. "Retracted by author" or the equivalent should be perfectly fine.
    – Buffy
    Jul 19, 2019 at 17:04
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    @Buffy If they're reputable journals, the author might end up with and editor with a bad feeling towards them over the interaction. Since they aren't, though, who cares what a scam editors feels about you?
    – jakebeal
    Jul 19, 2019 at 17:32

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