Q: The proof of my accepted manuscript does not include the revisions made after peer review. What should I do?

Detailed Question -

My manuscript was accepted and the proof was finally sent to me on the 10th week after acceptance, though the Instruction for Authors states that accepted manuscripts are published in 4 weeks. Upon checking the proof, I found that the Abstract and all the tables included are from an old version of the manuscript, before major revision. I immediately told the journal of this matter, but they did not reply then. Now finally I got their reply to say that the contents are correct so please give permission for publication. I have explained the difference showing the original manuscript, but they would not accept my request. Where should I ask for help?

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Answer:

This is a rather tricky situation. Are you sure the journal is a reputable one? I am a little concerned because such behavior is unlikely from a reputed journal. Mistakes might happen, but they would definitely admit the mistake and not insist on publishing the older version of the paper. Please do a careful background check to confirm that the journal is indeed trustworthy. You can use this checklist: INFOGRAPHIC: Think Check Submit checklist - Selecting the right journal for your research paper.

In addition, it would be a good idea to consult your supervisor or senior colleagues about this. If you feel that the journal is a predatory one, I would suggest that you withdraw your paper as association with such a journal might not be good for your reputation.

If you feel that the journal is a reputable one, you can write to the Editor-in-Chief or the Editorial Board members and inform them about the problem. In the worst case, you can consider getting your supervisor involved and he/she can write to the Editor-in-Chief. Since your supervisor is an experienced researcher, his/her intervention is likely to be taken more seriously.

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