Q: Can I write to the editor to inquire if my article's topic matches the journal's scope?

Detailed Question -

Sometimes it is difficult to wait for an initial decision to accept for the manuscript to be reviewed or not. Sometimes, it takes time for the initial decision, and then the paper is rejected because it is not in accordance with the journal's aims and scope, or there could be issue with the methods or whatever. Is it ethical to inquire before submission if the topic fits their journal requirement?

1 Answer to this question

It is perfectly ethical to write to the journal editor before submission inquiring if they would be interested in your paper. This is known as pre-submission inquiry, and most editors in fact, encourage authors to send in such inquiries as this saves their time and effort as well. 

You can definitely write to the editor asking with a brief explanation of what your paper is about and inquiring whether the journal would be interested in it. If you receive a positive reply, you can submit your paper. However, remember that you should never attach your manuscript with a pre-submission inquiry. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that even if the editor shows interest and asks you to submit your paper, that does not necessarily mean that your paper will be accepted. While it definitely reduces the chances of outright rejection due to mismatch with the journal's scope, it is not a guarantee of publication.

Related reading:

How to write a pre-submission inquiry