Q: Is it okay to submit the signature of co-authors in separate documents rather than on a single document?
The journal I have submitted to requires the signature of all the authors when submitting a paper. The co-authors reside in different parts of the world, so it will take too much time if we send the document by post to one person, they sign it and send back and then we send it out to the next person. We are thinking of taking the signature of each person on a different copy of the document rather than on the same copy, so that there are 4 signed documents in total. Is that acceptable?
Most journals allow submission of separate transfer of copyright or conflict of interests forms if the authors are in different geographical locations. It is advisable to add a statement in the cover letter explaining that you have uploaded the separate forms because all the authors are in different city/country.
Alternatively, you can prepare one document with all the signatures by adding your signature, scanning the document, and passing it on to the next co-author. Through this, each author will get an opportunity to take a print of the document, add their signature, scan the document, and send it to the next co-author.