When it is time to submit your academic or scientific paper, it can be important to assign a corresponding author. Some publications will require one to handle the manuscript itself and act as a port of call throughout the publication process, but having a dedicated individual on your side can also help you to ensure that everything is handled correctly and that you are aware of your work’s status throughout the entire journey.
Why do you need a corresponding author?
One of the biggest advantages to selecting a corresponding author is the fact that they will act as an assistant and form a connection between yourself and your chosen publisher when you likely won’t have the time to correspond to yourself. They can provide a host of information to both parties and act as a trusted intermediary for all inquiries.
For larger manuscripts with multiple authors, the corresponding author is typically agreed upon by all parties and should be a senior researcher or academic that has a solid level of experience, and publishing knowledge and understands the paper being submitted in detail. This will ensure compliance with the journal you wish to publish with and minimize the risks associated with long wait times and even manuscript rejection. As a result, it can be important to select an individual that is known for responding promptly and has the time to dedicate to the needs of both yourself (or your group) and the publisher.
The roles and responsibilities of a corresponding author
The responsibilities of a corresponding author typically involve providing details on authorship and contributions, as well as collecting conflict of interest statements and other necessary documentation. They will also be expected to follow up with inquiries if the article is published. They should perform proofreading duties before submission and handle any required revisions and undertake re-submission if this is the case. It will also be their duty to agree to (and sign) the Author Publishing Agreement and arrange any payments that need to be made, such as the article processing charge if this is requested.
As this role is extremely important and handles a diverse range of responsibilities from start to finish (and even beyond publication), it can be a good idea to select your corresponding author as early in the research process as possible to ensure that everything is properly taken care of.
Risks of not having a corresponding author
When you don’t have a dedicated individual to act as a corresponding author, you may be at risk of misunderstandings occurring between yourself and your chosen journal – and this can complicate the steps taken for publication. In recent years, there has been an increase in discrepancies in authorship where large groups are concerned and it can be extremely difficult to add or remove authors after the article has been submitted. A corresponding author will be responsible for double-checking all information, ensuring compliance and more, so that you don’t run into any issues that could see your work being rejected.