Now I am facing a very serious problem that I have to remove an article which is accepted by IEEE but will be published till the end of 2019.

Due to some conflicts of interests(we finished this manuscript last year, this is my idea at the first place, and I finished the data analysis and processing part, all of the experiments, professor X wrote part of the document), he wants to hold the paper and wait for a top journal, but I'm in an urgent circumstance to graduate. So after half a year anxious waiting, I submitted this paper without noticing him.

Until this paper was accepted to be published, I struggled for a very long time, so after I realized my mistake, I took action on this matter immediately. Firstly I negotiated with the professor X, He was tough on this thing and disagree with my behavior. After mature consideration, I want to completely remove the article and contact with IEEE Journals Coordinator immediately. This negotiation has lasted several months,and now I hold the firm attitude that I have to remove this article no matter what kind of excuse it will be given. It cannot be seen on any version no matter online or offline. Still waiting for IEEE's reply, and could you all please give me some advice under this circumstance? Many thanks!!

2 Answers 2


So, the issue here is that you submitted a paper without the consent of one of your co-authors? Write to the editor of the journal explaining that, and ask for the paper to be retracted. Even if you’ve agreed to give them your copyright, your coauthor hasn’t, so they wouldn’t be allowed to legally publish it anyway.

  • 1
    Thanks so much for your reply. Now all the things co-author wants to do is remove this article from IEEE Xplore completely. Because he wants to submit it again in another journal. This paper has already shown on IEEE Xplore, and IEEE coordinator said that they cannot remove anything from Xplore. They put a notice online said that our paper is not recommended to be published. That’s all.
    – zhang77
    Sep 25, 2019 at 2:26
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    @zhang77 Talk to your university’s legal department about maybe filing a DMCA takedown request. Electronic publication is still publication, and they can’t legally do that without the consent of the copyright holders.
    – nick012000
    Sep 25, 2019 at 3:02
  • This is very good advice thanks to you, I will talk this to university’s legal department and see what will be done in the next step, I will update the process under the comments, thanks again for your kind support.
    – zhang77
    Sep 25, 2019 at 3:42
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    @nick012000 If the paper was accepted and they submitted the final files, they 100% signed a document to pass the copyright to IEEE (or any publisher for that matter). Also in the submission process, they agreed that all authors are aware of the publication. A retraction does not make the paper disappear and I highly doubt a higher ranked publication will accept this paper.
    – o4tlulz
    Sep 25, 2019 at 10:00
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    @o4tlulz "Also in the submission process, they agreed that all authors are aware of the publication." The problem is that they lied when they clicked "yes" here, and the co-author has refused to consent to the publishing of the article.
    – nick012000
    Sep 25, 2019 at 10:02

You have the right to withdraw your paper, but subject to any formalized agreements you have with IEEE. You may already have signed away your rights. But even then, the journal does well to agree to your request and to return all rights to you that you may have relinquished.

One problem, however, is the "several months" issue. IEEE has taken actions, that may have cost them money, over the time span and may be reluctant to abandon it. They may need to fill the allocated space they have scheduled in a print journal.

But if you press them, I assume they will agree, thinking that a long term relationship is better than forcing you into something you don't want.

You don't say how long you have waited. If it is more than a few weeks, ask again and press the issue.

But, since we are close to the end of 2019 already, the worst case is that the print version has already been finished. In which case you will meet a lot of resistance. Then, a lot of money is involved and it may be impossible to undo the situation.

  • Thank u so much for your patient reply and kindness. IEEE coordinator said that post a notice on this article website page is all they can do, they cannot remove anything from Xplore, this article will not appear in a printed issue. it means this article will exist online permanently and my co-author cannot publish it on other journals. This may make him angry and told me to remove it anyhow.
    – zhang77
    Sep 25, 2019 at 2:50

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