Q: Does a direct 'Decision in Process' status indicate rejection?
I submitted a paper to Elsevier on Oct. 21, 2016. The status became “Under Editor Evaluation” on Jan. 18, 2017, and then “Decision in Process” on Jan. 22. I thought some revision would be required, but the status was directly changed to “Decision in Process”. Does this mean my paper is likely to be rejected? I’m so anxious about this situation. Would you let me know your view?
The status "Under Editor evaluation" indicates that your paper is going through the initial editorial screening. If the paper clears this screening, it is sent out for peer review, and the status changes to "Reviewers assigned" or "Under review." However, if the manuscript does not clear the editorial screening, it is not sent for peer review and receives a desk rejection. Thus, unfortunnately, a change in status from "Under Editor evaluation" to "Decision in process" generally indicates a desk rejection.
Usually, a paper is desk rejected if the study does not match the scope of the journal or if the quality is not as per the journal's standards. Another reason why a paper can be desk rejected is if it does not meet the requirements mentioned in the author guidelines, such as formatting, reference style, etc. In the latter cases, the author is often asked to make the required corrections and submit the paper again, after which it is sent for peer review. So do not lose hope. Sometimes, even though it looks like your paper might be desk rejected, you might be asked to revise and resubmit it as a new submission. All the best!