Q: Can reviewers' refusal to review a manuscript influence the editor's decision?
Hi, I have submitted my manuscript to APL journal on 19th July. The present status is “First review received and invitation sent for additional review.” In the meantime, 3 reviewers have already declined to review the manuscript. I am worried about this situation. Can the reviewers’ refusal to review article affect the editor's decision on my manuscript?
Reviewers decline review invitations for various reasons. In most cases, they are either too busy with their work or they have already taken up other reviews. Since this is typically holiday season, many reviewers could be on leave. Another possible reason for declining a review could be if the reviewer is not very comfortable with the topic or if he/she has a potential conflict of interest. However, generally speaking, reviewers’ refusal to review does not tell anything about the quality of a manuscript. So, I don’t think the editor would have a negative impression about your paper just because three reviewers have declined the review invitation.
However, on rare occasions, the editor of a journal may return a manuscript to the author on the grounds of unavailability of suitable reviewers.
The status ‘ED: Not Assigned’ means that an Associate Editor has not yet been assigned for your manuscript. I am not really sure what ‘EE’ means on ScholarOne. However, for some other journals, ‘EE’ stands for ‘Executive Editor’ which is equivalent to Editor-in-chief. So, perhaps your paper is currently being screened by the Executive Editor (EE) to check whether it meets the journal’s requirements. This is pretty much like an admin check. Once this is done, the paper will be assigned to an ED, that is, Associate Editor or Handling Editor who will be in charge of your manuscript till the first decision.