Authors are usually hesitant when it comes to communicating with journals, whether it is to inquire about the status of their manuscript, to inform about an error in the document, or to request an extension of the submission deadline of the revised manuscript. Many authors are under the illusion that journal editors might not appreciate receiving e-mails from authors.
However, there are situations when you have to write to the journal editor because it is best to clarify your doubts directly from the editor rather than depending on the opinion of other people. In such cases, you should not hesitate to write to the editor. It is fine to communicate with journals as along as you maintain the right level of decorum and formality.
Here are a few things you must keep in mind when writing to a journal editor:
1. Address the editor respectfully.
2. Use a polite and courteous tone throughout your e-mail.
3. Use a formal style and formal e-mail writing conventions.
4. Be honest and clear but at the same time, tactful.
5. Even if you disagree on certain points, make sure you do not appear to be challenging or undermining the editor’s opinion in any way. Present your viewpoint skillfully, explaining why you disagree.
6. When addressing reviewer comments or any other comments/questions that the editor has for you, make sure you answer them point by point and support your views with logical reasoning and/or evidence.
The time for editorial decision making can vary from a few days to several weeks or even months. It may be that the editor is very busy and hasn’t had the time to look at your paper. It may also be that he or she is taking time to arrive at a decision. Depending on how long has it been, you can write a polite e-mail to the editor saying that you are looking forward to a reply. Hopefully, the editor will respond to your reminder.