I submitted my paper to a reputed journal two days ago. I got a mail from the editor saying that I need to complete other forms (copyright etc) after he finishes screening. However,I hadn't received my supervisor's approval when I submitted the paper. Now my supervisor has got back to me saying that I should withdraw my paper. Currently the status is "Not Assigned." Do I need to send a withdrawal letter? Or I can wait for the screening result? If I don't pass screen, do I still need to send a withdrawal letter?

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    Is your supervisor a co-author? – scaaahu Dec 10 '13 at 9:08
  • No, the supervisor is not a co-author. It's just that he's adising me, and I'm afraid that if I don't listen to him, he might not want to guide me in the future – Kakoli Majumder Apr 30 '14 at 13:57
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    As I understand it, you're planning to withdraw the paper sometime (now or later) unless it's rejected. Then withdrawing it now is the best course of action, because it avoids wasting the time of an editor and reviewer. Also, your supervisor is likely to be happier if you follow his advice immediately rather than waiting. – Andreas Blass Jun 20 '14 at 11:32

Yes, you need to withdraw the paper from formal consideration. This is the only way to stop the process once it's begun. This also actually helps you with later submissions. If the paper is submitted and rejected, then you may have to specify this to other journals that ask about the previous history of the manuscript.


It depends on whether your supervisor is one of the authors/co-authors or not.

If your supervisor is one of the authors of the paper, submitting the paper without all the authors' consent is unethical. You should send the editor a letter to withdraw it.

If you wait until the paper passes the screen process, you are wasting the editor's precious time. If you withdraw it now, he can then proceed to other papers on his desk.

If you are the only author of the paper, I am not sure why you need your supervisor's approval to submit the paper. It would be up to you to withdraw or not.

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    I have to update my answer because the OP responded my comment 4 months later without my knowledge. – scaaahu Apr 6 '15 at 10:15

You need to withdraw ASAP. Submitting papers without a co-authors consent is considered scientific misconduct. It can have SERIOUS consequences for your career!

  • wonder about the logic of that down vote...ah well, you win some, you lose some – Stylize Dec 17 '15 at 2:07

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