Q: Does "Under Review" mean that the paper has passed the editorial check?

Detailed Question -

This summer, I subsequently submitted a paper to top twelve journals where it was desk rejected by the editor (it is a debatable work concerning fairness of CEO salaries). Now, during the thirteenth try, it has been "With Editor" for half a day, thereafter "Under Review". Can I be sure that this time that it has not been desk rejected?

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Answer:

Status descriptions vary across journals. The submission systems of some journals use the status "under review" even when the manuscript is under the initial editorial assessment. Since the status of your paper changed to "under review" half a day after being "with editor," I'm inclined to think that "under review" in this case refers to the initial editorial screening. The editor will have to evaluate your manuscript, find reviewers, send out reviewer invitations, and acceptance emails from the reviewers before the status can change to 'under review.' Half a day seems too short a time for all these to be done. Hence, I have a feeling that your paper is possibly being reviewed by the editor currently, not by external reviewers, which unfortunately means that it still stands a chance of getting desk rejected.