My name has been included in a paper submitted to a peer-reviewed journal without my consent, however I did not contributed anything to it. The corresponding author, a former colleague of mine, ignores my request to be removed off of the author list. According to the trace of the communications I have received, the paper is under review now. Thus, how can I professionally deal with this case to get my name removed?

  • 1
    I do agree with Bryan Krause answer. Butt insist on your colleague, it should work else the situation is indeed bizarre. Be polite, It might be that the other side did not think much and is convinced to make you a favour. Be firm but polite, say you are open for future collaboration, for instance.
    – Alchimista
    Oct 3, 2019 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is definitely unprofessional and unethical to include someone as an author when they do not agree to be one.

If you have contacted the corresponding author and asked to have your name removed, and they refuse or ignore the request, all you have left to do is contact the editor.

Simply say that you have come to understand that your name was included as an author on a paper submitted by (corresponding author), that you did not participate in the work, and that you would not like your name associated with the publication.

That's it. No need to make further accusations or statements, that should be enough information for the editor to act. If it's a reputable journal, they'll realize how wrong this all is.

  • And if it isn't a reputable journal, you can wait for it to be published and then send them a DMCA takedown request.
    – nick012000
    Oct 4, 2019 at 1:28
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    If you didn't contribute to the paper in any way, presumably you don't hold any ownership of the copyright, and therefore have no basis to submit a DMCA takedown request, which would require you to state under penalty of perjury that you are the copyright owner or an authorized representative of the copyright owner. The DMCA is intended to handle copyright issues, not "my name is on this and it shouldn't be." Oct 4, 2019 at 2:07
  • @ZachLipton If your name's on the paper, though, it's listing you as one of the copyright holders.
    – nick012000
    Oct 4, 2019 at 5:30
  • How does the journal verify the identity of the OP? If it's as simple as sending an e-mail, what's to prevent someone from sabotaging researchers by pretending to be them and asking journals to remove them from the author list?
    – vsz
    Oct 4, 2019 at 6:04
  • @vsv The editor could just send a confirmatory email to the non-author's institutional email address. Oct 4, 2019 at 6:56

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