Wow, if what you are saying is true (and I’m not doubting that) then I’m also surprised. Hard to believe that the published version master project is pointing to the working version sub-projects. I agree that it copies the file during a publish, but I would assume it fixes the pointers to the associated sub-projects accordingly. Not sure I have another thought on how to handle the scenario, but something that PMs should know. I learned something on this forum. Maybe someone else an pipe in with additional information and ideas.