I am doing a literature review for a project and I have come across recent papers in top journals where one of the co-authors is a famous Statistician (Peter G. Hall, 1951 – 2016). This is an example that motivated my question, but my question applies in general. Reviews in those journals usually take less than 2 years (in most cases, about a year). Thus, the papers where submitted a fair amount of time after the famous co-author passed away.
My question is, how do editors check (if at all) if the authors actually worked on those projects with the late famous co-author in order to (i) justify their inclusion, and (ii) determine if the inclusion of that co-author does not follow some sort of political move to increase the chances of getting a paper accepted.