I'm one of the three coauthors (A, B, C) of a research paper, to which I (A) contributed extensively in providing results and drafting the initial version (I'm academically younger than B and C). The corresponding author is B.
We have recently received the third round of reviews for this paper (it's been quite a lengthy process, approaching two years). The Editor gave us 120 days to resubmit the new version. This happened just before I was going to be unavailable for two weeks. Therefore, I emailed B and C explicitly asking to hold the paper until I provide comments on my return.
However, when I was back I found out that B sent the paper the day after my email without waiting for me, justifying it with a need of speeding up the process. C supported B's justification. Note that this is the second time in a row that this happens, as well as other B's unprofessional behaviours, which I all raised personally with B to no avail (with C in copy).
The complication is that the paper has now been accepted (and the journal is rather good), but having had a careful read of the paper, I'm not happy with some of changes B made, which I wasn't given a chance to check for two times in a row (I've reasons to believe that C hasn't reviewed it either). Besides typos, there are some incorrect statements and very confusing parts (e.g. reference to parts of the text that have been deleted, including in the conclusions!), which however they won't twist the essential content and outcome of the research.
I'll notify my dissatisfaction to B and C soon, but I do not expect that B will bring this to the Editor, as he/she should.
My questions are:
- What is your best suggestion to have such amendments in the published version, without losing acceptance? I believe they can be too significant to be picked up at the proof stage.
- Perhaps writing directly to the Editor? In this case, how to justify the situation without jeopardizing acceptance?
- Finally, do you recommend writing to B's Head of School to inform him/her of B's repeatedly unethical behaviour? I'm not interested in working with B any longer, but I'd like to keep fairly good relations (e.g. references) with C, who is a highly-ranked academic and unfortunately is de facto more or less tacitly supporting B's unprofessional behaviour.