My professor doesn’t want to publish and he keeps delaying it. I had an intense argument with him and I feel that if he will publish, he will not include me. He is quite rude to me recently, although I worked so hard on two projects under his supervision. It has been about two years and he didn't publish my work.

Do Journals contact the corresponding authors when a research paper is submitted? What happened if (for example) I published an article without notifying a corresponding author and he found out? What could happen?

  • 2
    You worked hard, that's not enough to publish a paper. Did you get new results? Did you work the results out so they convince others, i.e. experts in the field? Are you waiting for your prof to write the actual paper? Waiting for his input/corrections?
    – Karl
    Jul 16, 2017 at 20:39
  • 5
    Generally the 'corresponding' author is the one they correspond with, so yes they will find out.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 16, 2017 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


No, you absolutely may not do this. Every author must consent to the publication of an article.

If he finds out, he could have the journal withdraw the article. They would typically publish a notice about this, which would effectively inform the whole world that you had done something unethical. That is a potential career killer. Additionally, a serious breach of academic ethics like this could cause you to be expelled from the university where you study.

Many journals do directly contact every listed author, to prevent this sort of situation. (For instance, in many cases every author has to sign a copyright form.) Others will ask the submitting author to certify that they have the consent of all other authors.


If s/he had any substantial input on the work, s/he should be on the paper.

You say that s/he is the corresponding author but there is no reason that a student cannot be a corresponding author, and no reason why a supervisor would be happy not to be on it (for their own reasons) while simultaneously happy for you to proceed. But you cannot submit a paper while stating them as being the corresponding author. Apart from the academic fallout, this would actually constitute forgery.

You had a fight about it and I have a feeling that the intellectual input from your supervisor is not at issue: you do feel they should be on it.

You also say "He is quite rude to me recently" - so English is not your native tongue and your command of English is poor. This further reduces your chances of navigating this issue all by yourself.

However, I do know of a student (not one of mine!) who submitted to PNAS without the senior author's consent. The latter was quite upset about this, until the acceptance email arrived. Then all was forgiven.

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