We have published a review article, years ago, and since then all of the authors left the institution. Now the institution has suddenly woken up and realized that the authors did not get permission before publishing the article. And the institute does not want its affiliation any more on the already published article. What to do now?

  • Were all of the authors of the paper at the same institution?
    – jakebeal
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:15
  • Yes earlier at same institution, but now moved to different institutions. Sep 24, 2015 at 14:17
  • The institution doesn't want the article withdrawn, it just wants to remove the affiliation information?
    – jakebeal
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:22
  • Yes, institution wants to remove the affiliation. Sep 24, 2015 at 14:24
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    Can you define what permission is needed? I am not aware of any institute requiring permission for everything any researcher is publishing, unless it is not an academic institute but instead a company... Sep 25, 2015 at 9:24

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you and your co-authors committed an error in publishing this paper against requirements imposed by your institution. The institution would probably be within its rights to insist that you withdraw the paper altogether, so asking you to remove the affiliation markings from the paper is probably not too bad a compromise (it's hard to know for certain without knowing the regulations and situation in detail).

As such, I would recommend getting in touch with the journal and requesting a correction to remove the affiliations, explaining the situation. The journal may or may not be willing to make the correction. If they are not, then you likely just need to leave the two institutions to battle it out and hope that you have a paper left when they are finished.

  • 1
    It really depends on what permission means. If it was something like IRB review, then yes withdrawal is an option. If it was some other administration imposed rule, then they do not necessarily have the right under academic freedom, what institution requires permission to publish for anything other than well established ethical review, like IRB and the like?
    – daaxix
    Sep 25, 2015 at 4:23
  • Thanks. Just to mention here that it was not an IRB review. And the subject theme of review was not either directly or indirectly related to institute projects. The work was authors own intellect contribution to the society. The affiliation was mentioned just to fulfil the requirement of 'Guide to Author' of the journal. Sep 25, 2015 at 8:37
  • @daaxix There are other reasons that permission to publish can be required. For example, a corporate sponsor may give access to a confidential dataset on condition that they get to do pre-publication review of papers involving the dataset. Some institutions require people to positively confirm that no such contractual relation is being violated before publication. This is currently very rare in US universities, though it used to be much more common before the general removal of classified research from campuses in the 1960s, but other academic institutions and other countries may differ.
    – jakebeal
    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:39
  • @jakebeal But violating those requirements would likely lead to a demand that the paper be withdrawn, no?
    – JeffE
    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:50
  • @JeffE Likely, but not necessarily, it the authors violate the internal review process but not the spirit of a contract. I do think the institution's request is rather odd sounding, but am pointing out that we simply don't know enough to judge the situation more precisely unless the OP adds more information.
    – jakebeal
    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:54

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