Nautilus

Authors warned to keep their online identities secure

This is the text of a Correspondence in Nature (462, 35; 2009) by Irene Hames , an editor at The Plant Journal.

Goudarz Molaei is right to express concern in his Correspondence about simultaneous submission of manuscripts to different journals (Nature 461, 723; 2009). As a professional journal editor with more than 20 years’ experience, I would like to highlight here a worrying new problem I recently encountered: duplicate submission arising from author impersonation.

Unfortunately, online submission and review systems inadvertently encourage this unwelcome activity. For example, a co-author or colleague may be given the corresponding author’s account password in order to submit his or her manuscripts — perhaps because of the corresponding author’s lack of time or unfamiliarity with file creation and uploading. These people are then able to change the author’s accounts, including the passwords, and submit manuscripts in that person’s name without their knowledge.

So, authors, be wary of who has access to your account. Keep a check on what’s happening and change your password after files have been submitted.

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