I am a PhD candidate working in fields related to environmental sciences and climatology, and have recently finished the revisions/corrections for my first peer-reviewed manuscript.

Unfortunately, I did not get to be the corresponding author for this first submission, for which I collected all data and wrote the paper. Therefore, my first supervisor submitted the revisions instead. However, this was done without informing me and, more importantly, before I could carry out final checks on the manuscript to make sure all the figure references and citations were correct...

Immediately after submission of the revisions by my supervisor, I have checked the manuscript and found the following errors:

  • One full reference is missing, but cited in-text (out of a total of 80 references).

  • One Figure reference early on in the manuscript was deleted by my supervisor, which now means the figures are presented in the wrong order...

  • Another Figure reference has a minor typo ("Fig. 4a" instead of "Fig. 4").

My supervisor has refused to re-submit the corrected version of the manuscript, even though the corrections were only submitted yesterday evening. I am asking for expert advice and opinions on what my best course of action is. Can the above errors be the decisive factor in rejecting my paper for publication, even if the reviewers comments were otherwise addressed objectively well? My fear is that the paper will be rejected as "sloppy" (i.e. the revised paper should be perfect in terms of referencing and citations).

1 Answer 1


These errors should not lead to rejection. Even if the paper will be accepted now (i.e. no additional round of revision) there will be a chance to correct those errors during proof-reading. The missing reference will probably be detected by the journal and corrected automatically.

Take notes of the errors, so you can be quick once you get to proof-reading stage, since often, publishers give you as little as 24 hours to check and correct a manuscript.

I just remember that there are fields where the authors take care of formatting and editing of the final version - there things might be a bit different. My answer is based on journals that do the editing for you, after acceptance of the manuscript.

The fact that your supervisor (or any corresponding author) submitted a (revised) manuscript without asking co-authors and making sure, they approve the manuscript, is a different matter and should not have been done. Look for posts regarding "submitted without consent/approval" to find out more (basically, the corresponding author has to make sure that all co-authors have seen and approved a manuscript before submission, at every stage).

  • Thank you for the useful advice Mark! I have learned my lesson from this I think, and will push to be the corresponding author for all future first-author submissions... I think this particular journal does the final editing and incorporation of figures into the text for the authors. As for the corresponding authors decision to submit, I will look further into this as I think the other authors got a quick "notification" shortly before submission, but not myself (the first author). I may have to take this up with my other supervisors, at least.
    – Spykeeboy
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 9:10

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