Today I learnt that the junior author of the manuscript submitted to my journal, of which I reported in the blog below, had sent in the cover letter on the senior co-author’s behalf, without the senior co-author knowing it. If true — the whole situation becomes quite confusing and blurred, I feel — then the senior author is not to blame for the whole situation but his junior co-author.
Soon thereafter, I indeed received an apology letter from the junior author, basically begging for forgiveness and asking to withdraw the manuscript submitted on her behalf. In my imagination I am picturing the senior co-author, who must be the supervisor of this young, inexperienced, junior co-author, with a whip in his hand and an angry expression under his eyebrows and the young author bursting out in tears and trying to see the screen clearly while typing that email message to me. Not an easy thing to decide on (to withdraw or not).
I am still mulling it over.