When the first author is deceased before publication - (Apr/16/2012 )
Even though unfortunate this might happen some times. One of my colleague passed away after 3 years of her phd during which she had done marvellous job and the work done by her was enough to publish. Myself and my guide took responsibility to publish the work so that at least her parents would have something to look up to. Yet now after 2 years of her death we are ready with manuscript to publish. I searched but could not find out any information about publishing paper when 1st author is deceased. Does anyone here have any information? The work we are to publish is about senescence in human fibroblasts.
I'm not sure what the problem would be. Submit the paper as usual with their name as first author. The last author can submit the paper. For all of the contact information for the first author, just put your email or last author email as corresponding author. Then in the acknowledgements you can write what you would like in remembering your colleague.
And you can ask the editor to add somewhere a short text about it such as "in memoriam of"...with date of death or something similar. I once saw this in a paper that was a journal published by a natural history museum. Hopefully high impact journals from high-throughput publishers are similar nice.
Thanks for the replies ...