I am a PhD student in mathematics. I have been collaborating with a professor on a research article. I have done my part. Almost all mathematical content is already developped from my side, then my coauthor read my paper and suggested a few changes and pointed out some errors. I have corrected the paper according to my coauthor's suggestion. I then sent the paper back to my coauthor 3 months ago. They were supposed to re-read the paper and submit the paper to a journal or at least to arxiv. But that is not how things are going.

I emailed my coauthor, telling them to submit the paper, but in vain. I am a young scholar in need of publication in time but my co-author is delaying the issue. I am not blaming my coathour, because as a professor, my coauthor might be very busy. On the other hand, it will not take more than 2 days to read and submit the paper but my co-author is not doing that. I get one reply for every 3-4 emails. It has been 1 month without a reply, I already sent 2 emails. The same has happened before as well. After 1 month or 2 months I get a reply. My coauthor can tell me about their individual busy schedule, but i received no reply. When I do get a reply, it is very positive. But nothing happens ultimately.

What should I do in this situation? I want my coauthor to be a part of the paper because it will increase my chances of collaboration beyond my country.

Note: Our contact is possible through email only because I am living in Asia and my coauthor is from Europe.

1 Answer 1


First, a frame challenge: it does not sound like this person has done enough to be an author. Perhaps that is also their opinion, and that is one reason why they are not prioritising this.

However, since your actual question might apply even if they clearly did deserve authorship, it is worth answering. I think it would help to tell them that you will deal with the submission, and ask if there are any other changes you need to make before doing so. If you have not already agreed on a journal, suggest one and ask if they would prefer somewhere different.

There are two advantages to doing this. If the other author is very busy, they may well be reluctant to do moderate amount of work involved in submitting it themselves, even if they do have time to agree to you submitting the current version. Also, it avoids problems further down the line - you don't want to have to worry that they might have had communication from the journal which they haven't bothered to deal with or forward to you.


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