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Form letter C: To institution

Form letters are examples of appropriate letters for various situations. Please find below the text of Form letter C: To institution. You can copy this text and adjust it to your needs. The template is also available in Wordopens in new tab/window or PDFopens in new tab/window format.

This form letter is used in the following decision trees:

Form letter C: To institution

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


[title of article, date of publication]

[institutional address name or title of executive]

Dear [executive],

Concern has been raised about the research reported in the article listed above, research that was [allegedly?] conducted at your institution. As the editor of the journal, I must take seriously any allegation raised that if true would violate the journal’s policies (which are set out in our ethical statements, instructions to authors and the like).

[The substance of the complaint is that {description}, which if true, would violate our publishing policies.]


[Attached you will find a copy of the communication which raises the concern noted.]

I have separately written to the author in question who is in residence [employed by?] at your institution and have asked for a response within 30 days to the allegations.

[To date no such response has been forthcoming.] OR [I have received a response from the author [the substance of which is ______ / OR a copy of which is enclosed].

In my view, this [lack of response does not demonstrate a responsible attitude towards scholarship]


[response is lacking in detail and clarity and suggests a somewhat irresponsible attitude towards scholarship] which I believe merits your consideration and review.

Because your institution has the most knowledge about the research in question, and has responsibility for the research, I am asking you to initiate the appropriate investigation and to keep me informed about your progress. The journal may revise the publication record, based on the results of your investigation and my editorial judgment.

Sincerely yours,

[editor name]


 Copy: [author]

[NOTE: IF NO RESPONSE IS RECEIVED, IT WOULD BE USEFUL TO SEND A REMINDER WITH THIS MESSAGE: I have not had a reply to my communication of [date]. Please note that if we do not have an adequate and timely response {,within 30 days,} we may be forced to conclude that the allegations outlined in that communication are truthful.]