Des discussions entre rédacteurs de journaux ont été animées autour d'un cas probablement fréquent si l'on en juge par les commentaires. Je relate la description du cas par le rédacteur du journal biomédical 'australasien' concerné, en préservant l'anonymat :
"A paper has been submitted to our journal. It was submitted with two authors. The paper underwent 3 revisions. The corresponding author was changed from the second-named author to the first-named author when revision 3 was submitted. The final revision, a Minor Revision, was completed by the first-named author of the paper. When attending to the final revision, the first-named author removed the second-named author as an author of the paper. The first-name author did not address this change in her letter to the editor that accompanied her revision, save an acknowledgment of the former second-named author in her covering letter as "Acknowledgment of [second-named author]". The change in authorship was not noted by the handling editor. The paper has been accepted for publication.
I have been contacted by the former second-named author notifying me that he did not give approval for (or was even aware of) this change in authorship. The now former second-named authors claims he was not privy to these changes. The first-named author submitted the revision within 24hrs of the invitation on request of the editorial office to allow for consideration of the paper for the next available issue.
It strikes me as odd that the first-named author would make this change at what appears to be the 11th hour without making this change explicit in their correspondence with the Editorial Office. In my view, the second-named author has a prima-facia case for asserting their authorship of this paper. "
Les conseils : laissez les auteurs laver leur linge sale car le journal a tout à perdre s'il intervient (mais le journal doit vite reconnaître ses erreurs eventuelles et imprimer un erratum). Certains rédacteurs pensent qu'il faut informer les institutions de ces auteurs…Un diagramme de COPE apporte quelques conseils aux rédacteurs….