Form letter A: To author

Form letters are examples of appropriate letters for various situations. Please find below the text of Form letter A: To author. You can copy this text and adjust it to your needs. The template is also available in Word or PDF format.

This form letter is used in the following decision trees:

1. Authorship complaints
2. Plagiarism complaints
3. Multiple, duplicate, concurrent publication/Simultaneous submission
4. Research results misappropriation
5. Allegations of research errors and fraud
6. Research standards violations
7. Undisclosed conflicts of interest< Back to all form letters

Form letter A1: To author regarding a publishing article

[letterhead of the journal editorial office or the editor's general contact information]

[date]

[title of article, date of publication]

Dear [author],

Concern has been raised about the publication of the article listed above, for which you are the corresponding author. As the editor of the journal, I must take seriously any allegation raised that if true would violate the journal's policies (set out in our ethical statements, instructions to the author, and the like).

[The substance of the complaint is that {description}, which if true, would violate our
publishing policies.]
OR
[Attached you will find a copy of the communication which raises the concern noted.]

Please provide me a prompt and full response within 30 days, which I will also [discuss/share] with the party raising this concern.

Depending on the nature of your response, I should also inform you that I [may OR also] consider it necessary to inform and involve the research institution at which the underlying research took place [or is alleged to have taken place], and [possibly] the funding agency that supported the research [or that allegedly supported the research].

Please note that if we do not have an adequate and timely response, we may be forced to conclude that the allegations are truthful.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

[editor name]

[editor-in-chief]



Form letter A2: To author regarding plagiarism in a submitted article

[letterhead of the journal editorial office or the editor's general contact information]

[date]

[title of article, date of submission]

Dear [author],

In reviewing your manuscript, I discovered that there are sections which seem to be unoriginal, having appeared in the following previously published work(s):  {insert details}.

In this case, the overlap goes beyond the normal occurrence of standard phrases in your field.  Specifically, {insert details}.of your paper contain(s) a significant amount of (verbatim) textual overlap with the mentioned previously published work(s). Moreover, this prior work has not been cited in your submission. For this reason your paper cannot be considered for publication. 

It is the policy of [JOURNALFULLTITLE]  to publish new and original work. Text copied from copyrighted works from third parties, even in an introduction, should never be used without clearly identifying the other source (either by quotations or indentations).  Every paper should present some novelty and new results in the form of a unique paper written in an author's own words. Unless a legitimate explanation is received for the large amount of textual overlap between the submitted paper and the abovementioned previously published work(s), this paper will not be reconsidered for publication.

We further inform you that [JOURNALFULLTITLE] uses CrossCheck powered by iThenticate software to check the originality of manuscripts.

For more information on CrossCheck visit their website at http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck/index.html

Yours sincerely,

[editor name]

[editor-in-chief]