I am a PhD student in mathematics. One of my article (say, paper A) is under review in a journal (say, journal J), where I have mentioned my next article (say, paper B) as a reference (which is completed but yet to be submitted in arxiv). The problem is that the reference or paper B has a co-author with me. But the co-author is not collaborating anymore, as of now. Moreover, not responding my emails, not looking at the paper B. So it might happen that he can let me know that he is not interested anymore in the paper B, so before submitting it to arxiv or journal, I have to remove his name from paper B.

Now suppose my paper A gets accepted from the journal J, in which it is under review, in that case I have to adjust the reference by removing the co-author.

In that situation, how would the editor or referee of the journal would react?

1 Answer 1


It is very unlikely that the editor and/or referees of the journal will react at all if you modify the reference by removing the co-author from your unpublished work. This is because they almost certainly won't notice.

Just change it the next time you modify the paper (either when the editor asks for revision, or when they ask for the final version after acceptance).

If they do, somehow, notice the change, that shouldn't really matter. Paper B is currently unpublished, so it is perfectly possible for its list of authors to change.

(I should add, however, that it is worrying that you want to remove a co-author from a paper that is "completed butyet to be submitted". Either the co-author contributed to the paper, in which case you can't just remove them from the list of authors, or they did not contribute, in which case they should not have been on that list in the first place.)

  • Thanks for the answer. The reason that forced me to think about to remove the co-author name is discussed in my questions here. I have been suffering for almost a year. My co-author is not helping. His only contribution is that he read the complete paper and raised some errors which I fixed on my own. But I offered him authorship and asked to give a final look at the paper and submit it. But in vain
    – learner
    Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 11:48

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