One of my manuscripts is in revision. The co-authors in the paper are my advisors. Now I had sent the paper to a journal and it is in revision phase now. One of the co-authors has taken a U-turn and due to ego issues, rejects being a co-author. Now there is actually no significant contribution from this co-author to add his name. But will it be wise now to request the editor in chief about this, now that there is good chance of getting the paper accepted? The above mentioned co-author is known to have mood swings.


You need documentation that this person doesn't believe that their contributions merit co-authorship (or that they didn't contribute at all). I would write them an email like this (adjust as necessary for specifics and to not upset them further):

Dear Charles,

Last Monday you mentioned that you do not want to be listed as author on our paper "The missing link between dinos and birds" since you believe your contributions to be too minor. I just want to make sure that we are on the same page: Can you confirm that you would like me to remove your name from the author list?

Thank you,

A. G. Install Happyness

If they confirm, you are free to tell the editor that the co-author was included by mistake and agrees to be removed from the manuscript. If they don't confirm you need to clarify what outcome they desire and then discuss this with them and the other co-authors.

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  • 1
    I think you should start by giving documentation to the other co-authors and editor. – Kimball Jan 18 '16 at 16:14
  • 2
    It's standard practice for editors to request confirmation from the deleted author that they no longer wish to be a coauthor on the paper. – Brian Borchers Jan 18 '16 at 17:18

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