Snippets from the Mailbox of the Editor: Poaching and Masthead Changes[EJIL Editorial]

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Our publisher, OUP, forwarded to me a complaint from another journal of international law. Apparently, an author who submitted an article to that journal and subsequently accepted to publish it therein, withdrew his piece at the last minute since, he explained to the justly irritated editors, another, ‘more prestigious’ journal published by OUP to which he had simultaneously submitted his piece, had now accepted it for publication. It is worthwhile mentioning from the outset that authors submitting a manuscript to EJIL are asked to confirm that it has not been published, submitted or accepted elsewhere.

Here is a composite edit of my correspondence with the author in question. It picks up in the middle of the correspondence.

It would seem that your article was submitted by you to the xxxx Journal of International Law for publication … [and] it would seem that you had accepted to publish with them…. They are, absent some convincing explanation by you, justifiably upset and frustrated….

Please understand me: Journal editors plan their publications with care and attention. By accepting one article, they may have rejected another, which now might no longer be available. They think carefully about the mixture of pieces in each issue – to offer their readers variety and cover different aspects of the field. An unjustified withdrawal might disrupt all this. But think, principally (and I claim here the privilege of an old man addressing a younger scholar) how you would feel if, say, I accepted your publication for … EJIL and suddenly you got a letter from me saying that the offer to publish is withdrawn because a more prestigious scholar has sent in a piece….

If there was an agreement between you and the xxxx Journal of International Law that your piece would be published with them, I will simply not take it. This is a matter of considerable importance — We aspire to the highest professional standards; as I explained to you in my earlier email, we would feel that these standards were compromised if we accepted for publication an article for which there was already an agreement to publish with another journal. We are not in the business of poaching. Warmly, JHHW

Masthead Changes

Emmanuelle Jouannet steps down from our Board of Editors after three years of dedicated and distinguished service. Andreas Paulus, recently appointed to the German Constitutional Court, steps down from the Scientific Advisory Board after similarly dedicated and distinguished service. We thank them profusely and wish them every success in their future endeavours.

We welcome Hélène Ruiz-Fabri who will be joining the Board of Editors for the next three years. Welcome!

Emily Kidd White steps down as Associate Editor, a role she filled with passion and good cheer. We wish Emily all success in her future plans. She is replaced by Dr Karine Caunes, who will be our new Associate Editor. The Associate Editor and the Managing Editor, the redoubtable Anny Bremner, are part-time positions, which nonetheless demand very considerable effort and dedication. They carry EJIL on their shoulders. All readers, authors and editors of EJIL owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

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Marko Divac Öberg says

February 2, 2011

"All readers, authors and editors of EJIL owe them a huge debt of gratitude."

Yes, indeed. Thanks!