Journals and editing Part 1. The journal editor who did not understand his journals' requirements.
January 23rd, 2021, by Guy Harris
A paper we edited was recently accepted by a journal from a well-known publisher. The two authors, from the National Cancer Center and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, had acknowledged our work in the paper’s Acknowledgments section:
We appreciate Guy Harris of DMC Corp. (www.dmed.co.jp) for assistance with English language editing of the manuscript
In her acceptance note, however, the journal’s Assistant Editor wrote:
Please delete this. Such mentions about English editing cannot be left in the paper.
So the author kindly asked us if he could remove the acknowledgement.
We checked the journal’s Requirements for Authors page, where we found this:
Those who contributed to the work but do not qualify for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgements. More detailed guidance on authorship is given by the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
At the linked page, the guidance of the ICJME says:
3. Non-Author Contributors
Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 ... criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples [include] ... writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading.
So clearly, by the journal’s own requirements, the Assistant Editor is wrong, and I should be acknowledged.
We informed the author of this discrepancy, but said that it was the author’s decision, and I will not object if my name is removed.
But it would be better if the journal understoood it’s own policy, and allowed the acknowledgement to remain.
PS. The author requested again that the acknowledgement be allowed. The editor responded:
Company is not allowed, but you can mention the English editor, so we deleted “DMC Corp. (www.dmed.co.jp)”.
As we see in the next blog, the journal’s approach represents a conflict of interest.