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I am submitting an abstract to a workshop (not a proper conference) and unfortunately it is looking like I won't be able to get approval from all the coauthors before the deadline. I do have approval from the key coauthors, and the only ones that are missing are people who provided the data. So I have two (or three) options now:

  1. submit the abstract first with everyone, and only update it if any of the coauthors decide to drop out
  2. submit the abstract without the ones that are still pending, and update it once they have sent their approval
  3. not submit anything at all

The caveat to (1) and (2) is of course that I assume that it is possible to update the abstract once I have submitted it. Given that it is not a formal conference but a workshop, I would like to think that this is possible.

To give some context, in my field it is fairly common for people not to approve at all, especially when it comes to studies with a long list of authors. This has happened before. I am not saying that this is a good practice, but everyone is busy and this is not uncommon.

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You might get in trouble for submitting something without everyone's approval. Do not submit without everyone's approval. Can you maybe call them for a verbal confirmation?

These situations where there is a deadline and not everyone replies can be difficult to manage.

For the next time, do the following: Give everyone a very reasonable timeframe with a clear-cut deadline date to reply within. Write down a consequence if they do not reply, e.g. "I will submit this abstract by xx.xx.20xx, so please let me know your comments or objections until yy.xx.20xx."

If the above strategy is what you want to follow this time is up to you.

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  • Thanks for the advice. That's a good point and I did state in the email what the deadline is, what I didn't do is say outright that I will submit it with your name on it if you don't reply before then. I don't think it is possible to call them for verbal confirmation. Apr 1, 2023 at 10:47

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