What steps does a manuscript typically go through from submission to publication (or rejection) in a typical journal? How are these steps referred to, in particular by editorial systems, and how long do they each typically take?

Note that this question is about the typical situation and hence not about:

  • Journals with an atypical workflow, e.g. those that allow for an instantaneous reviewer–author interaction.
  • Exceptional steps or rare occurrences such as withdrawal or clerical errors.

This is a canonical question on this topic as per this Meta post. Due to its nature, it is rather broad and not exemplary for a regular question on this site. Please feel free to improve this question.

Would it be seen as “a failure”, “someone who is not able to finish what he begins” in my CV? This is what worries me, after finishing both my undergraduate and master with very good grades I fear it will be ruined by “started a PhD and gave up after 3 years”.

Context: I’m doing natural sciences, in Europe, I would need one more year to graduate but I’ve realised academia is not for me (and I’m not really enjoying my time as PhD student).

Will dropping out be seen as a “failure” by potential employers?

I have couple questions for you guys and I hope to find some answers here.


I finished my master’s degree with a thesis at school A. During my master’s program at school A, I was a research assistant for my thesis adviser (Let’s call him Professor A).
Now, I am applying to school B for PhD (because PhD isn’t offered at school A) and I am hoping to work with Professor B who has a same research interest as Professor A.

Professor A has requested that:

  1. I do not share any codes with Professor B.
  2. Choose a research topic that is different from my master’s thesis for the conflict of interest.


My questions are:

  1. Is this understandable and typical situation for many students? What do you do about this?
  2. Do I need to completely change the trajectory of my PhD research topic from Master’s and start a new topic in the same research area?

We are in the US.
Codes were collaborated. And already received my masters.

Some material seems like it would have been very easy to teach the students. For example, it doesn’t seem like it would be very hard for a teacher to teach their students how to do any problem that uses the formulae in http://speedydeletion.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_mole_concept_formulae which I created well enough that most of the students could correctly answer most of those questions on a test. Do they teach so much material that the class can’t keep up with learning it fast enough to get high marks? Could the amount of material they can teach in each course and have the students keep up with learning well enough to get high marks be more if they taught it in a more concise way? If teachers in general taught their students better, would they have to mark them harder because of the limited space for jobs that rely on the knowledge or could researchers make more space for those jobs because there would be more people with high enough marks to suit the job. For some of those jobs, could the world benefit from having more people who have the skills to do that job? Maybe in some courses, nobody can get perfect and teachers can’t teach in a way that will give more people high marks on tests because some of the questions rely on reasoning and thinking of ideas which is a skill that some people have but can’t be taught.

I am applying to 8 schools in research area X of applied physics. I have some research experience in a very closely related area and one publication in a solid journal.

One of those schools has a professor working on very interesting topics in area Y. I emailed him and his reply was quite positive, saying I have an excellent record, but had the usual “the admissions committee makes the decisions not me, but I will be sure they carefully consider your application”. I also know at this school we don’t pick advisors till the summer of the first year. I have 3 years of experience in the theoretical side of area Y, 3 journal publications and a few talks/posters.

There are 3 scenarios I can think of:

  1. Mention both X and Y, but I’m worried it would hurt my chances. I could focus mainly on X and mention Y in 1 or 2 sentences in my intro. I would also add 2 sentences to mention this professor’s research near the end + 2 more professors from area X.

  2. Mention only X, it makes me look more focused and this university has many more faculty in that area, but I’m worried this will burn bridges with the professor from area Y.

  3. Mention only Y. I wouldn’t be very keen on this as I would waste the tens of hours I spent on a mini-literature review of area X before writing my statement.

Edit: To clarify, I’m not asking whether I should mention my work on area Y or not. I certainly did mention all my prior research experience. I am asking whether it’s okay to mention future interest in BOTH areas. e.g. “I am interested in topics A, B, C (from area X). Moreover, I am interested in topic D (from area Y).”

Let’s say I find an article online. I contact the writer of this article and, without expecting anything in return, they agree to give me full, unrestricted rights to use any portion of their article, including directly using quotes from the article, without citing it. The agreement even allows me to claim the work as my own, even though it isn’t.

Because I have all the rights to do this, would this be considered plagiarism?

I need to choose a supervisor for my upcoming term project. I asked one of my professors if he had any ideas for a project for a student with my skill set, and he offered to supervise me as he wasn’t teaching during the project timeline.

Getting to the point, this was way early in the course, and my professor has witnessed me do terribly in the course so far. My interests lie in the subject matter of this course, and I really enjoy this prof and want to do well, but for some reason, the way we are tested really throws me off and I end up overthinking and eventually screwing up the answer.

I’m worried about bringing the topic of my term project up to him again, because I’m worried he will not be impressed with me and refuse to work with a student doing terribly in his course.

Should I bother talking to him about it, or should I disregard the possibility that he could be my supervisor?

Thanks for any help about this!