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My ex-PhD-advisor submitted my paper to the journal I explicitly stated I don't want to submit to. I believe the ex-advisor is busy with other things and doesn't want to bother with submissions, so they are taking a very easy path to publish my work, while not replying to my inquries. If I contact the editor and state that I did not approve this submission, will I be able to prevent it from being published?

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    You don't want to submit to because...? Mar 14 at 3:20
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    @CaptainEmacs Because I believe it deserves much more credit. My peers believe the same. The journal the ex-advisor has chosen is third tier. Mar 14 at 4:36
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    Do you have indication that your paper is stronger than the tier your supervisor suggests? I am not talking about peers, but of people of substantial experience in the field? Inexperienced scientists are notoriously bad at estimating the value of their own work, both in terms of under- as well as overestimation. It would be good to have corroboration from another side. Mar 14 at 5:30
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    And why did they submit it? Why not you? Mar 14 at 5:30
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    To be more explicit about what Captain Emacs is asking: You call this "my work", "my paper", and "my work" again. This sounds like you consider yourself the main author, which would mean that you're the one who would actually submit to a journal in most fields. Or is this just a paper that you contributed to, without actually being the main author? Either way, your input should be considered. But if you're "lower down" on the author list, the other authors would generally be less inclined to abide by your wishes.
    – Mike
    Mar 14 at 19:27

2 Answers 2

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If I contact the editor and state that I did not approve this submission, will I be able to prevent it from being published?

A dispute among the authors is a major red flag and will immediately lead to the article not being published.

What this does to your relationship with your ex-advisor is a different question.

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    It is only my opinion, but the "different question" is probably more important.
    – YYY
    Mar 15 at 16:01
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Since you are the author of the work, you presently hold the copyright/IP in the work. The journal will require your permission to publish the work and this would require you to sign a publication agreement. No journal wants to go to the trouble of reviewing a paper if an author is not going to agree to publication at the end of the process. So yes, if you contact the editor and advise that this is an unauthorised submission (and that you do not agree to publish), they will withdraw the paper.

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    Since you are the author of the work, you presently hold the copyright/IP in the work. This depends entirely on the circumstances. If the paper was written in the past while OP was still a graduate student, then there's a good chance the University owns the copyright/IP. Normally, universities don't care and defer to the researchers when it comes to publishing and transferring the copyright to publishers. With that said, the rest is true; publishers expect consent from all authors involved. So OP certainly can stop it
    – anjama
    Mar 14 at 21:34
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    The problem is what happens next. Even if OP does own the copyright to the manuscript, there's a chance the university still owns the data. In that case, OP would still need permission from the university/former advisor to publish elsewhere, which might not be easy if the former advisor is angry at OP's actions
    – anjama
    Mar 14 at 21:46

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