I submitted a paper to a journal, and I suspect that it is handled too slowly.

  • How can I decide whether my suspicion is correct? What handling times should I expect?

  • Given some expected handling times, when should I act? How much leeway should I give?

  • How should I act? Whom should I contact and what should I (roughly) write?

Note that I am interested on how I should approach this situation in general, and do not seek specific numbers for my specific situation.
I am therefore looking for general answers that are independent of such factors as the field or individual journal (but mention them if they are relevant factors).

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.

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.

I submitted a paper to a top journal last week. At first, the status showed “awaiting AE recommendation”. A few days ago, it was changed to “awaiting reviewer selection”. So I thought it passed the associate editor’s evaluation and now they were looking for reviewers. Even yesterday the status was still “awaiting reviewer selection”, but today it was changed to “awaiting EIC decision”. What does this mean? Does this mean that the AE changed his/her mind and recommended to desk reject my paper and put forth his/her recommendation to the editor?

I submitted a paper to a journal in Mathematics. From last 3 and a half months, the status of the article is with editor. I sent a mail to the editorial office to update the status. They replied me saying they will ask the handling editor to contact me. After one more month I asked to expedite the process. No reply. Now from last 3 and half months there is no change in the process. Is it better to withdraw the article or wait for some more time.
Thanks for the reply.

I submitted a paper to an IEEE transactions journal in March. The paper was sent to the editor, then the editor found an associate editor (AE), then the AE found three proper reviewers (but I do not know the reviewers).

At the begining of July, I received the decision for the AE: the 1st and 3rd reviewers gave me Accepted with minor revision, the 2nd reviewer gave Major revision. So the AE decided it to be Major revision. I made some point-to-point revisions regarding the comments and resubmitted the paper.

Now, four months passed, I have not received feedback yet. A month ago I sent an email to the AE to ask for the reasons. The AE said that he cannot contact the 2nd reviewer. So what I can do now?

Can I suggest to the AE that he should make a decision based on the 1st and 3rd reviewers’ recommendation? because the 2nd reviewer already gave me Minor revision in the first round peer-review, it seems that he would not have big questions.

Thanks.

It makes me wonder how some reviewers can review a letter in one day. To exemplify, when requested for review some referees send a report within a day. Eventhough, it is extremely good at making the review process faster what effects does it have in making a quality report.

Quite often I see that the reports sent in one day are superficial. Whereas, certain other reviewers who review in a day create extremely in-depth report. What are the good practices as a reviewer to perfectly review a letter in one day and create an in-depth report?

P.S: (Letters here mean a research letter with approximately 4000 words).

What are all the possible situations where a editor decides to seek advice from more reviewers than the usual number of reviewers.

I had submitted my article to a prestigious letter journal that usually seeks peer review from two reviewers. After first round of reviews editor asks to resubmit. One referee was positive other was recommending publication after revision. ( Can not be published in present form was actual words).

We revised the letter. Sent it back. One of the previous referee reviews and sends report. Other declines to review. Editor seeks third reviewer. He takes two weeks. Sends report. But now editor sends it out to fourth reviewer.

What are all possible situations that might made the editor to take such a decision?

Most journals during second revision try to send the articles to reviewers who had reviewed the article before. But, if in case one such reviewer responds with a message that he cannot review the article this time, usually a new reviewer is requested to review the article.

My question is will this new reviewer also get the reviewer comments from earlier reviewer along with the manuscript?

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.