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Authored 49 Papers After Death: A Closer Look at Jiří Jaromír Klemeš

Jiří Jaromír Klemeš, a significant author within the engineering field has passed away as of last January 2023. Despite his absence, Klemeš has been credited as a coauthor on an additional 49 published papers since his death.

An author being acknowledged posthumously in academic literature is not unique and can reflect the enduring influence and intellectual richness of their extensive research portfolio - however, 27 out of these 49 papers do not even explicitly mention Klemeš' death according to a recent report.

"27 out of the 49 papers do not explicitly mention Klemeš' death"

Complete List of Posthumously Published Papers

Deceased authorship has been increasing rapidly according to an open-access peer-reviewed research study published by PLOS ONE in 2022 titled "Perish and publish: Dynamics of biomedical publications by deceased authors" which reported that "Since 1998, the number of papers in this dataset with deceased authors rose from a single paper in 1998 to 952 in 2018. This pattern represents an 18.4% increase in the number of such publications since 2000, significantly outpacing the 5% annual growth rate in total PubMed publications for the same period."

So whenever "deceased authorship" enters a enters the chat, it should raise a few questions about research integrity and the consistency of practices within the scholarly peer-reviewed research industry. The lack of a standardized approach for acknowledging the death of a coauthor has led to variations in how different publishers handle such situations.

For instance, Elsevier, when queried about the papers in Energy, mentioned that they do not have a specific policy for acknowledging the death of a coauthor. While on the other hand, Springer Nature recommends obtaining approval from a representative to include a deceased author, while the American Chemical Society (member of recent PLP coalition) suggests including a note with the date of death, however with the case of Jiří Jaromír Klemeš, it is a policy followed only by " of the two papers published by the society." (Paraphrased from Retraction Watch, 2/16/24)

In this context, organizations like the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) play a crucial role in guiding best practices. However, there is no clear consensus across the industry on this topic. For example, ICJME narrowly "stipulates that 'authors make substantial contributions, participate in manuscript drafting or revision, approve the final manuscript and agree to be accountable for it' –­ conditions a deceased author would be unable to fulfill" (University of Melbourne, 9/16/22) while COPE is inconsistent with their recommendations and "in one instance, the group recommended adding a footnote about the death and the author’s contribution." (Retraction Watch, 2/16/24) while "In another, it recommended connecting with a surviving partner or the person’s estate to accept the proof." (Retraction Watch, 2/16/24)

Really, the concern about the motivations behind such practices is that while acknowledging a deceased colleague's contributions are essential, there are potential risks, such as boosting a paper's chances of publication...especially when including one of the most highly cited authors in the field. "'The top 20 of 1200 deceased authors we identified produced an average of 100 papers after they died, which is more than many living scientists achieve in their whole careers,' Professor Hovens says." (Pope BJ, et al. 2022)

Therefore, Jiří Jaromír Klemeš' posthumous publications serve as a case study highlighting the complexities and ethical considerations in the evolving landscape of scholarly research. As the industry grapples with these research integrity issues, guidelines from organizations like COPE and ICJME remain essential guideposts for maintaining research integrity. provides a unique blend of expertise in science, technology, business, and legal communications with a proven track record in building positive online reputations and driving impactful results. Leverage our almost decade long expertise in scholarly peer-reviewed publishing to drive innovation, collaborate with academic institutions, and stay at the forefront of technological advancements in your industry.


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