A majority of respondents in a poll by the International Society of Medical Publications Professionals (ISMPP) said they would support removing unresponsive authors from the final manuscript following a polite message to all authors involved, according to an article on The Publication Plan.
The question posed by the poll was:
“The lead author of a manuscript in development was key in acquiring data for the study and actively engaged in the initial discussions that shaped the outline for the paper. However, he/she was slow to send feedback on the first draft, and the second draft has been with him/her for more than 2 months, despite exhaustive attempts to get in touch through multiple channels (via co-authors, field medical staff, etc.). Some of the other authors have contributed equally to the design of the study, and direction and revisions of the paper. Several of them have indicated that they want to remove the lead author as an author on the manuscript because of the delays. Another co-author has suggested ‘demoting’ the lead author to another position on the by-line. What would you do?”
Twenty percent said they would demote the lead author and send them an email explaining the decision.
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