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The title says it all. The journal published my paper without sending me the final proofs beforehand. I didn't even find out that the paper had been finally published from the journal; I found out from an ORCID update. With other journals, I always got a final look to make sure the edits were done correctly, but that step was missing here.

Is this normal? I'm quite perturbed, because the copy-editors had made lots of inappropriate edits, and I wanted to double check that they had fixed everything before the paper went live.

The publisher is Wiley (which I don't have experience with).

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  • Has the journal published? Or released a preprint? The latter may be intended to make research available more quickly.
    – user2768
    Feb 20 '20 at 9:51
  • It's an online version, "early view." Which is fine. But that's also the version most people will look at. And it still has certain mistakes I asked them to fix.
    – user108403
    Feb 20 '20 at 9:52
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    Any "early view" should be labelled as such and will be replaced by the final version that you approve.
    – user2768
    Feb 20 '20 at 11:40
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Is this normal? I'm quite perturbed, because the copy-editors had made lots of inappropriate edits, and I wanted to double check that they had fixed everything before the paper went live.

I'm a journal editor (Taylor & Francis) and have edited special issues (Springer), so in my experience this is not normal in the slightest. Even though it is an "Early View" article, this is a standard part of the publishing pipeline, and we'd expect those to be the finished version (just waiting for the formal assignment of a volume/issue number as space opens up).

If this happened to me, I would be disappointed.

You should e-mail the handling editor who you corresponded with.

My guess is that something has happened in the interplay between editorial staff and the back-office Wiley people, and I would guess that the handling editor would be just as disappointed and surprised as you. You want these edits to happen as quickly as possible, as once the DOI is minted and its an "early view" article - as you know - people will be getting their Google Scholar alerts etc. and beginning to read and cite the piece.

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Each publishing house seems to deal with this differently, but it's certainly not unknown for electronic versions to appear earlier in the publishing process than the final print version. Based on your comment, this seems to be what's happened to you. These versions are subject to change, and should get updated when your proofs are finalized and your work gets inserted into an "issue". Assuming this is a traditional journal, that's also the version that will get put onto paper, etc.

While it can be annoying, you should note that this isn't the version the journal will advertise (on its website, mailing lists etc.), nor the version that people will cite, so unless you are sending the web link out somewhere, it's not going to be held against you.

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  • The paper already has a DOI (which is what people will cite) and it's featured on the journal's main webpage. Also, Wiley does advertise "early view" papers on their mailing lists.
    – user108403
    Feb 20 '20 at 11:58
  • The issue here, just to clarify, isn't about the paper being "early view." It's that the journal made public a version of my paper without my approval and without notifying me. I want to know if that is normal.
    – user108403
    Feb 20 '20 at 12:02
  • @artificial_moonlet It's certainly not abnormal, and seems to be becoming more common.
    – origimbo
    Feb 20 '20 at 12:06
  • @artificial_moonlet I suppose you signed a copyright transfer form, so technically they do have your approval to do whatever they want with it. Feb 20 '20 at 12:32
  • @FedericoPoloni Of course, but why would they make public a version that I didn't agree should be final? That just seems weird from an editorial point of view.
    – user108403
    Feb 21 '20 at 6:31

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