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Q&A: Can reviewers' refusal to review a manuscript influence the editor's decision?

Hi, I have submitted my manuscript to APL 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? 

1 Answer

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. However, generally speaking, reviewers’ refusal to review does not tell anything about the quality of a manuscript. So, I don’t think you need to worry about the editor having a negative impression about your paper just because three reviewers have declined the review invitation. This is not going to affect the editor’s decision in any way.

Related reading:

What does the status "Reviewer assignment pending" mean?


This content belongs to the Journal Submission Stage

The journal submission stage can be challenging. Subscribe & improve your manuscript’s chances of acceptance with the help of guidelines and tips shared by our publication experts.