Editor accepts paper without waiting from the referee -- quoting publisher's confusing online system
I was hesitating to post it but seeing #4 (comment 61517346) couldn't resist anymore.
The referee in question is myself and, while I was working on my report, the Editor-in-Chief (of a Springer journal) accepted the paper in the submitted form, unaware of my pending report in which I was preparing a several pages list of remarks and corrections.
Subsequently, the EiC apologised and quoted the Springer's confusing system as the reason. He also kindly stressed, my report would still be valuable.
After having submitted my report, I then had discovered that the paper was already published online in its submitted version that I received before working on my report. While I was assured, my remarks would be taken into account in the printed version, this raises the questions, as (1) how many people downloaded that submitted version with Springer's stamp certifying it as "final", and (2) whether any of them were alerted to that version being subsequently replaced. And then (3) how many people cited or will cite that submitted version, sometimes with precise pages, that will confuse their readers when looking at the wrong version.
Being convinced of the EiC's integrity and having dealt with that system myself, it seems totally reasonable the system itself is the primary culprit. That is further strengthened by the EiC's statement "I've been getting LOTS of complaints lately" about the system. That make is even more interesting to read the statement from the editorial:
Established publishers like Springer Nature invest significantly in the development and maintenance of online platforms, where publications can be read, downloaded and disseminated.
To be fair to Springer, I am also aware of another similar case with an Elsevier journal. Again, knowing the Editor-in-Chief personally and being convinced of his integrity, the online system seems to be the only point, that let such things happen.