How long do you wait to hear from a journal after you have submitted your manuscript?
I have run across some extreme situations in the scientific publishing arena. For example, I had a rejection in 8 hours, an acceptance in 2 days, a rejection in 9 months, and an acceptance in 18 months. These were experiences without resubmit and revise (i.e. first time submission experiences). Would you like to share your ideas?
I usually send a query if I haven't heard anything after three months. One of my papers had become lost in the system and the email led to a quick decision (unfortunately a reject). Even if it just gives you some piece of mid I think it is worth it.
National Metallurgical Laboratory (CSIR), Jamshedpur, India
There is no rule for the same. But answear should come in three months. But in some cases it takes a long time. If you are not happy than avoid that journal. However which journal accepts in 2-8 days? This means there is no review. As a student one should not go for that journals.
Trilochan, I agree that the answer should come in three months! I try to publish in different journals as much as possible, which means that I have no prior exposure to the journals and so, it is hard to tell beforehand if I will be happy or not with a journal.
As it relates to a journal accepting manuscripts in 2- 8 days, I am not sure how you would conclude that there was no review and that students should not go for such journals. Internal blinded reviews are also reviews. Let me share a unique situation. The manuscript that was accepted within a short duration was in response to a mass tragedy that happened 2 weeks before the manuscript submission, it had original data from a national sample of individuals, and was published in a prestigious journal in public health. Within 3 weeks of the acceptance, the manuscript appeared online and is well on its way for discussion with policy makers to change a state law. Furthermore, the journal editor is a world renowned medical historian, prominent physician, and a scholar of scientific writing in medicine= hard to question his ethics! The converse also happened to me (a rejection in 8 hours from a top scientific journal in medicine). I was given a choice, either convert a 20 page manuscript to 1 page letter and resubmit or consider the email as a rejection. I preferred the second option.
Shweta, I agree with all of your comments! Ideally, in this era, we expect faster transactions. However, there are special situations that I have been exposed to, from time to time. Hopefully, you will also have some unique experiences:) if you pursue a variety of journals and if you keep publishing in the years to come.
In my view, I guess, the time taken for acceptance or rejection of a manuscript depends on the availability of the reviewer.
Example:- Consider a physiotherapy journal. It will have reviewers specialized in the required field/topic's. At the time of submission of your manuscript if the concerned reviewer is busy, the manuscript may get delayed.
At the same time, this is not the case for all the journals. The duty of the reviewer is to check the manuscript thoroughly, and this will take some time.
It is depends up on our manuscript. If it is very good quality. Immediately it will be accepted may be in 24 hours. Other wise it can take 1 year time also. Some journals from Nepal like Kathmandu Medical Journal there are several articles is under peer review last 6 years.
In Spain, it is a long time. However, It depends of journal. eg, in education journal the review period takes from 2 to12 months. But, time is not always the problem. There are some important journals that are slow and do not justify the rejection of paper. Best.
KCES's Institute of Management & Research, Jalgaon
I have personally experianced that the minimum time is around one month. However the journals may take upto maximum 3 months which I think should be the maximum time.
I had a very bad experiance with a journal, after submission of the paper the editor mailed me in 1 month that the paper has been accepted, I waited for another 2 months for the issue, I have called the editor he said that he resigned the editorship, I contacted to the new one she again accepted, after 3 months she resigned & a new editor told me that there is no such paper accepted by him. Approximately all these blame game tooks 2 years where the concept become uppopularised & I have to put the paper in garbage.
There should be some time limit for the process.....
Parag, that happens! I had another situation. Paper accepted in 2 months and I waited in the hope that someday, I will get a proof. A few months later, I got an email that the paper cannot be put in the journal due to lack of space. Does that sound like a joke?
National Metallurgical Laboratory (CSIR), Jamshedpur, India
Of course there should be some time line. However editor also depends on the reviewer. Sometime reviewer takes a lot of time to review. So editor is also helpless. On the other hand in reputed journals no of manuscript received is so much that they have to pre check before sending to reviewer. That is why i hope a paper requirs a certain time to review which is not possible within a week. May be there is some exception in different field. Jagdish you should understand why I adviced the students to look for the journals. As a reviewer of number of journals I understand the problem in publishing substandard journals.
Trilochan, as much as I hate to say this, some of your arguments are tangential to the original discourse. In your first post, you said, "As a student one should not go for that journals". In your second post, you said, " you should understand why I adviced the students to look for the journals". I am sorry, may be I fail to understand what your concern could be? Also, I am not sure what this would mean -"As a reviewer of number of journals I understand the problem in publishing substandard journals."
If you are concerned about students publishing in substandard journals, refer them to journal impact factor, readership, and scope etc.
You have focused on a good point that needed to be discussed for latest investigators.
A peer review journal with experienced editorial board that follows all the rules and regulations to prevent plagiarism takes 3 months to accept or reject the manuscript. There will be always an advantage to publish in such journals as they give the literature and work a good impact and more over there are few journals which point out the flaws and asks the author for rectification. There are many journals like New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal which takes more than 3 months and up to years even....
Presently, I'm working as an executive editor of few journals, initially we ask for submitting a manuscript with the abstract of the paper rather than complete literature then we go scrutinizing the abstract and objectives this takes 7 days to 15 days and then we ask for complete literature the review process goes for 30 days to 45 days, if any flaws or links missing and no appropriate data is observed we inform the author to rectify initially, and then it depends on the response provided by the author either to accept or reject the manuscript.
With peer-reviewed papers I have had quick acceptance (commissioned articles), relatively quick acceptance (submitted articles), forgotten articles (where the peer-reviewer died whilst reading my article), & am currently waiting (patiently) on an article that has been in the process since December .... zzzz
I appreciate the technicalities, but if you advertise a review process of @ 3 months, you should try to stick to it as closely as possible.
Recently, I have submitted a manuscript in a journal in theoretical physics and have got the answer of rejection in about 14 days, the reason was the paper contained many revolutionary ideas! NO COMMENT!. I think many journals of high impact factors "fears" of publishing such papers, may be I am wrong I am a college student. I have resubmitted it since about 10 days in another journal.
I think that the place of the researcher plays a significant role in accepting or rejecting a paper. I believe that researcher from developing countries or what is known by the third world suffer much in publication process. Having a look at these high impact factors, you will find that most researchers are from developed countries. Therefore, journals should reconsider their views and pay more attention to researchers outside developed countries.
Jagdish, unfortunately, there is no real good answer to your question, as I see it. However, it should be a "reasonable" amount of time, but only following a fair, transparent and unbiased process. This means that, as I see it, the submission should be double-blind, preferably triple blind (i.e., the editors, peers and authors do not know each others' identities) until the final acceptance/rejection decision. I think we must also transition to an open peer and open peer report system, like f1000Research, so that there is maximum accountability and not this "hiding" behind the secret curtain style peer review where the authors have no idea if their paper will be treated fairly, or professionally. In one case for me, the peer review took 18 months, and even after three requests to the editors-in-chief and Springer management for an update, there was no response. Considering this to be a total lack of editorial professionalism and publisher oversight, I called for the resignation of the EIC. Are you surprised that my paper was rejected? Read more about this Springer journal scandal, involving Science and Engineering Ethics, or JSEE:
Every journal may differ in review time. And yes, in this fast age, it is generally not useful if the review is taking as long as 18 months. For me, 3-6 months review time for engineering journals is reasonable time. On the other hand, journals sending acceptance within 3 days, one week shall be avoided as it raises questions on the review standard itself.
Hazrat - I like your kind term of 'is generally not useful'. I am all in favour of being polite and considerate, but it really has to be exceptional circumstances if a review takes 18 months. I have just as busy a schedule as the next person, and my reviews are returned within 1-2 weeks of receiving them. The explanations provided by many editors and reviewers for such long delays do not provide any acceptable level of justification.
I would also like to add, that in addition to reviews we get that are of a very high standard, many others are of a standard (& detail) that having read the paper properly, you could put together in an hour. As with many aspects of academia, I wish those who aren't willing or able to commit themselves, would simply not take it on in the first place.
18 months? What can happen in that time: new discoveries, delays in acting on the research (which could mean anything from an inconvenience, to death), nearly a year being added on to someones study time or funding .... to many researcher, none of these are 'small' issues. Yes, I research continuing education, so the world can afford to wait for my 'breakthroughs' [ ;-) ], but what if I was a brilliant physisist, chemist, doctor ... would the need for timely dissemination of important work be more obvious?
I can empathise and settle for 3-6 months (as long as communication is honest and regular), but for me, 18 months is not acceptable.
I submitted my paper to a very respectable journal 9 months ago. Five days after I got the submission confirmation from the assistant editor. I've never heard from them since, although I wrote several times to (politely) ask about the status of my manuscript. I also wrote to the editor in chief. No one ever answered. My colleagues tell me that the best thing to do is to retract the paper immediately and send it somewhere else. However, I feel I deserve at least reviewers' comments on the paper. Still waiting. :(
I submitted my paper to a very respectable journal (Elsevier) in August 2015. On journal official web site is written as follows: Submission to first decision = 18 weeks. Status of my paper is Still »With Editor«. This is terrible. Editors also do not respond to mail.
Darja, this is not uncommon. I submitted two papers to a Russian-manged, Springer-published journal, which can only take place by email attachment, in late November. The editor has still not even acknowledged the paper, despite three reminders. It's a disgrace! Elsevier is a COPE member. Please list your complaint at:
It''s very important to get a collection of these problems listed publicly. I will then forward your complaint to the COPE Chairwoman, Dr. Virginia Barbour. I encourage any scientists that is having a problem with a COPE member to please record this situation at the PubPeer page indicated above. Good luck and I hope to see the comments soon. Jaime
I have had similar experiences as Dr. Jagdish. Acceptance of a scientific paper within 2 days or within a week does not mean that it is not peer reviewed or a lousy journal. It means that the paper was written well and to the journals requirements. It means that the authors have been meticulous with that particular manuscript. That being said; it does not mean one would have the same experience all the time. Certain manuscripts make it to the journal earlier than the others because it depends on what kind of articles the journal is publishing in a particular issue.
I have a rule of thumb to call the editorial office if I do not hear from them within 2 weeks.
How long will it take an Editor to check an article fitness to journal's aim and scope, plagiarism testing, adherence to author's guidelines; then select reviewers? These shouldn't take more than a month.
Allowing for reviewer busy schedule, another one month should be more than enough for actual review.
I suggest the the use of redundant Reviewers. For example, if a Journal requires the assessment of 2 expert reviewers, the submitted article should be sent to at least 3 reviewers. The first 2 to return review reports should used by the Editor in decision making.
I'm really curious to know how long it takes for editors to give decision on a manuscript- to send for reviews and after completion of reviews to give decision?
Last year I had submitted my article to a new springer journal. For four months it was with the editor. After corresponding few times, they sent it to review and gave major revisions. I also completed that. Since last four months its showing required reviews completed. But the editor is not giving any decisions whether is completed or not. Even after corresponding several times with the office, there is still no decisions.
Another situations in a Elsevier journal. I submitted almost five months ago, still the status is editor assigned. After contacting several times with the office, still there is no progress to send for reviews.
I know this thread is a little older but I would like to expand on the original question and inquire: After a requested "revision and resubmission" how long does it typically take for acceptance based on everyones experience?
Hi... Based from my experience in some nursing journals, the time between your revision submission and the decision of acceptance varies. Some journals will give the decision three to four weeks after you submitted your revisions, but some will take until 8 weeks. Also, there are some instances where the editors give a conditional acceptance decision and require you to make additional revisions. I experienced this one time when they send my revised manuscript to another set of reviewers. - jonas
If I don't hear from them within four weeks, I contact them via email and ask them what are they up to. If they respond, then I wait for another two week and they still don't send my manuscript for review, I send them a mail informing that I am withdrawing my paper from their journal. Without any delay, I send my paper to another journal for review. Life is short, time is important, I don't want to waste it waiting for the responses from lazy publishers and academic editors.
On one hand you feel entitled to a 'service' - entitled to reasonable treatment (as a customer?), and are also fairly aware of the problems publishers face in processing manuscripts.
You don't like to complain because your preferred option is to remain positive and treat them considerately (you also don't want to upset them, because some unknown assistant editor is acting as a gatekeeper to publishing something that is very important to you).
However, when there are 'unreasonable' delays in the process, most of us just tend to suck it up in the hope that it is all in a good cause. With so many journals about (& the business they generate [regardless of their claims of martyrdom & poverty]), there could be a site such as 'Rate my Journal.com' where people can give public reviews of the service they have received ... not too sure how well that idea would be received ;-)
Teixeira da Silva, J.A., Dobránszki, J. (2017) Excessively long editorial decisions and excessively long publication times by journals: causes, risks, consequences, and proposed solutions. Publishing Research Quarterly (in press)
Shankar - I would ask a few direct questions. Polite introduction ... the process has now been underway for 1 year with no form of feedback or progress report ... appreciate the difficulties of peer review, but you feel it is reasonable to be given some more concrete information. Could you give me a breakdown of the processing of this article so far conducted by the journal ... how long do you grant peer reviewers to deliver their first response, when can you expect an initial decision etc. If you get precise answers to your questions, then you may decide to stay with the journal. If you feel you are being fobbed off, then you may decide to either inform them that you are considering withdrawing the MS (citing appropriate COPE guidelines & some of the info provided in this thread), or simply withdraw & select a more reputable journal. 'It is under review' is not a professional or adequate response to a legitimate query, so given the client-service relationship, I would look out for yourself. If more of us did this, it may prompt a more professional service.
Thanks Cosmin - I wasn't far off the mark: I guessed how well this type of service would be received by the journals, and looking at the site, most of the journals I looked up have 'n/a' written by the bits of information volunteered by the editorial staff. It's good to see that this type of information is available, although it will take time to become established.
The first decision generally takes 4-8 weeks. Sometimes it takes even more.Currently, I have a review article in process. It has been with Editor since 18th October. Almost 10 weeks have passed and still its with the editor for the initial review, There was even an incident where the editor from a very reputable journal could not find reviewers after 8 weeks and had to reject a very good article. So for our peace of mind, always consider that you have not submitted any article till 3 months have passed.. If you still do not get see any progress after 3 months, its high time to request for withdrawal and chose some different journal.
I submitted the article in November 2015 and still the editor is not responding and i also informed that i would like to withdraw my article even then the middle man is saying that still he did not get any reply form the editor. We can wait for at least 6 months for first progress report.
If a journals takes more than one year, the author may loose interest in research.
Shankar: that is definately a problem. Authors can loose confidence in their research when journals 'play' with the publication process. Just because something is rejected or delayed unreasonably, it does not necessarily mean it is not good work.
I think Thouqan has a point. Submitted my manuscript in X journal (article still under review) and 1.2 years later it was still not published. I see papers that were submitted and published in just 5 months after mine. Apparently the authors of these papers are from the same institution as EIC.
Quality publication is key. however, there is no point waiting endlessly for the process, 2-3 years. Acceptance in 24 hours,2 or 3 days may suggest weak or no peer review. This is commonly practiced by predatory journals. I have experienced up to two years,.in such situation, you have to write and request for you manuscript status. In most cases, I received responses.
Most reliable Journals acknowledge receipt immediately or within a week, depending on the manuscript submissions tools. The editor-in chief often do a preliminary check for appropriateness in that journal before passing it to reviewers, if not, will be rejected politely for you to look for alternative.
My recent experience were within 6-7 months and the review were twice and thorough. it is interesting passing through a thorough peer review process
Quality is key, but should not be endless! 3-months should be enough
The journal review time can be obtained if published manuscript from varying issues from this journal can be sampled and the date received, date accepted and date published obtain. These should give summarized relevant information
If we can determine the shelf -life of research work/data and publication, may be the appropriate time span for a journal response may be determined.
Imagine a research work conducted for about 6 months, 1,2 or 3 years, data analysed in about 3-6months, report /paper prepared within 2-6 months and the submissions, review process, acceptances or rejections is now between 1 and 3 years, A process very discouraging to a researcher!
who knows the number of rejections the paper is still expected to have before final publication?
The relevance of the data collected and reported may be losing relevance within it time space compared with similar researchers' work on almost the same subject matter but privileged with a thorough and quality review process and publication.
It depends on the situation, but some time journal also is responsible e.g one of my paper after 18 month has been accepted in a journal and after 21 month my paper was then rejected and similarly my another paper in the same publisher was accepted after three month and after the acceptance email on the next day Editor in chief rejected my Paper. Some time a reviewer keep the paper with his self and does not reply to journal. But standard time for a journal to wait is 6-8 months. Therefore to for a reviewer when agree to review a paper should honestly reply to the journal on time.
It should not take a specialist decades to read, suggest corrections, reject or accept an article, the process of peer review is important but I think it has been abused with the endless wait from Authors.
With more sophisticated materials(Internet , softwares, etc ) that help to reduce the rigor and Journals still keep articles for over 4 months then its uncalled for.
Unfortunately, it is beleived by academics of older generations that it must takes months for review/acceptance or rejection, when a paper comes in handy in few weeks time, they tend to doubt the outcome.
Guys, my experience says there is no harm done to the acceptance chances of your manuscript by contacting the managing/handling editor by politely asking about the status of your manuscript if you don;t hear after 45 days. Sometimes the reviewers fail to send back a report within short stipulated time of 2-3 weeks and since they are busy researchers themselves. The manuscript editor or a journal office assistant can always send a reminder email to expedite the process of review. I have reviewed several manuscripts and found the content of the manuscript is more important and the reviewer's ability to appreciate presence or absence of novelty in the work is what counts at the end.
Dear Dr Jagdish Khubchandani ,I have experienced with same journal twice,. after 8 months of review my papers were rejected. one paper in 2014 and another in 2018. I still wish to send another paper there.
Guys, for me it took almost a year to receive the first decision (major revision). After correcting the paper according reviewer's comments, I submitted revision and 1.5 month passed, it is still in "with editor status". Should I send a email to the editor in this case or better to wait for sometime?
I really do think that the authors should prioritize journals with a quick turover rate. This year, I submitted to an open-source journal and between submission and online publication, only 3 1/2 weeks passed! So it is indeed possible to proceed a paper quickly. But I also experienced a time span of one year between submission and publication - which makes a reasonable dialogue with other researchers in an actual research area almost impossible - your results already may be outdated when published. The only way to change this is to go after journals with a swift processing procedure.
Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University) Varanasi
My lone research article was available online after around 40 days from date of submission. I received few comments for correction from two reviewer at 20th day. Next 15 days were spent correcting the manuscript as suggested by reviewers. After reverting back the revised manuscript, paper was accepted and available online in a week.
Based on my experience, this matter totally depends on the type of journal. I mean if it is without an index or under Scopus or ISI. we know that time is precious so that you can send an email every month to get an answer to your manuscript.
Dear Jagdish Khubchandani , this kind of information (how long does it take to receive - or reject - a paper) is regularly included in the Editor's section related to Author's Guidelines. In some cases a journal may state that their editor does not guarantee the publication of a paper before two years. Besides the vaualble opinions of the researchers answering to your queston, I would add the following: reviewers are not instantly available ; editors and reviewers' mistakes exist; author's clarity is not always at hand; English is probably not the native language of some reviewers,and it takes time to write an appropriate review; reviewers are not that updated or know it all, and so on...
Dear Jagdish, I agree with Rafael Ibarra, in the current competitive world for publications, we should always check the author's guidelines to find some indication about the submission process. Our personal experiences may not be relevant to all readers as each author has specific journal categories and each one has its times and rules. Even between journals of the same speciality, I have found discrepancies of acceptance between 2 and 14 months for example. When the timeline is not explicit in the journal's website, do not hesitate and write to the editor for additional information.
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