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Basically I'm at the last stage of the article review process. We've already been through 2 rounds of copyediting (after the peer review stage), which none of my supervisors read as they trusted me to do the donkey work. (I don't blame them).

So far I've asked them to notify me at every stage of the review process, which has slowed down the process as I've had to wait for all 3 supervisors to confirm they are happy before I send off the article for another round. At this last stage I have read the paper thoroughly and can't find any issues and am keen to get it published asap. Am I still obligated to get my supervisors' approval at this stage, or should I just send it off?

I'm asking so I know the etiquette for future papers as well - I don't want to waste my (and my supervisors') time any more than necessary.

EDIT: all of the supervisors are on the authorship team.

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    Are any of them authors? Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 23:58
  • @AlexanderWoo Yes they are all on the authorship team. Updated.
    – Piethon
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 0:08
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    Also, are there other authors who aren't supervisors, and have they reviewed it (a second pair of eyes is always good, and whether or not you've had that opportunity may affect your supervisors' thinking)
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 12:37
  • No we are the only authors. But that's a good point.
    – Piethon
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 19:47
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    Can you define your terms (much) more clearly? In your institution what, exactly, is the last stage of the article-review process? Broadly, copy-editing is about spelling and grammar; editing is about meaning. From that perspective, what two rounds are you counting? Separately, if no supervisors read your work after the peer review stage, does that reflect well on their supervision? If you're in your right mind, you very clearly need your supervisors to check any article at its final stage. Calling that "double checking" or "the copyediting stage" should hurt, not help. Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 18:49

6 Answers 6

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You would be wise to at least offer to let them review it again. Tell them it is done in your opinion and ask if they'd like one more quick look.

All authors need to agree on what is published and, as a junior member of the team, it isn't a good idea to make assumptions.

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Since they are co-authors you should definitely give them the chance to look at the manuscript again. But you also don't want to waste more time - this is reasonable. I would therefore suggest to add a deadline. Something like

Here is the latest iteration of the manuscript, please have a final look. I plan to submit it in one week unless I hear from you.

This gives everyone enough time to check the manuscript, or at least to inform you that they do need more time.

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Since you ask about etiquette. As other answers stated, you need to let them see the manuscript. But the time is also very important. Sometimes publishers also encourage quick feedback. You can do the same with respect of your collaborators. Put a deadline by saying:

"I am going to resubmit our manuscript on xx.xx.xxxx, please let me know if you are having any further comments/suggestions by that date".

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Given that:

they trusted me to do the donkey work

You don't have to send them the article again. With another set of collaborators who want to be involved with every step, then yes you should send the article to them.

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    And if they find something that they strongly disagree with only after publication? What then? You put the OP at risk with such advice.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 10:41
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    @Buffy then they should've identified the problem before submitting the paper, when the paper was revised (if applicable), etc. OP is referring to copyediting changes, which should not change the meaning. If it does, then OP should be able to tell (they did say they "read the paper thoroughly") and involve the supervisors if necessary.
    – Allure
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 12:24
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    Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but it is still the OP that takes the heat.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 12:48
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    No, I'm saying that the OP needs the absolute good will of their supervisors to get their career going. It is about self preservation along with ethical practice. I'm sure you understand that all authors need to agree with what is published as you were once an editor yourself. As an editor, would you publish something for which you didn't have that explicit assurance?
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 13:17
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    You are missing the point. The question isn't about editors. It is about authors. I'm really not understanding your point of view here. Aside: If an editor actually "edits" a submission then they need to get acceptance/permission from all authors. Yes?
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 13:28
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A small addition: To speed up the process of checking updated versions you could add an explicit list of changes when asking supervisors/collaborators/coauthors for approval. If you don't have changes tracked in your manuscript you could even point to line numbers and explain what has changed and for which points (if any) you would like additional input from them. This will make it easier for others to budget time and make it less daunting than going through an entire manuscript (& supplements) again.

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I agree with those that say there's no pressing need to pass the document around again. If you don't trust your own review to catch every mistake, you might ask one of the authors to give you a hand.

Beyond that, I, personally, would probably send around the galleys to all the authors, with a note to say "I think I've got this, and I intend to return this by date X. If you see any issues, please let me know about them by Y". It is a bit of a courtesy.

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