Q: Does it mean my manuscript has passed initial screening if the status changed to 'under review' in just 3 days and has stayed that way for 2 months?

Detailed Question -

I submitted our manuscript to a very reputed Elsevier journal on March 9, 2021. On the next day, it showed the status 'With Editor'. I also received an email confirming that an editor has been assigned. I was informed that I will be notified by email each time a reviewer agrees to review the manuscript. Just after 3 days, i.e. on March 12, 2021, the status showed 'Under Review' which has not changed yet. The status date changed to April 3, 2021. No further email was received. So I wonder whether our manuscript has passed the initial screening. What may be the reason for the delay?

2 Answers to this question

I have received comments from reviewers after 2 months and 5 days. This is quite reasonable. It means that the manuscript was actually sent to the external reviewers but no mails were sent when they agreed to review. Anyways, happy to get very detailed insightful reviews suggesting revision.


Thank you for your question! If the status of your manuscript has changed to "under review", this typically means that the peer review step has been initiated. It does not necessarily mean that it is already undergoing peer review; it simply means that the process of getting the manuscript reviewed (a process that involves multiple steps from searching and inviting peer reviewers to the actual peer review) has begun. Since you mentioned that you have submitted to an Elsevier journal, we checked the Elsevier publishing support page to confirm; it mentions that the time taken for peer review is influenced by several factors, the most important being availability of peer reviewers. We have provided the link in case you would like additional information.

Journals can take up to 6 months or, in a few cases, even a year to make a decision. Given that it has been about 1.5 months since your initial submission, I would suggesting waiting for a few more weeks. You can write to the journal editor in the event that you do not hear anything thereafter.

I wish you the very best with your manuscript!