Q: How can I retrieve the submission fee paid to journal if the peer review is taking too long?
I have submitted a case report to International Surgery (http://www.internationalsurgery.org/?code=icsu-site) which has some history. At the submission, I paid US$100 as a submission fee. However, 1 year and 2 months have passed since a peer review commenced. I already sent 4 reminders, but the reply just says “the reviewer has not been replied yet”, and the situation has not been improved or progressed. I think such peer review period is too long. Can I strongly protest this situation of the journal, or withdraw my manuscript and retrieve the paid submission fee? In that case, how should I?
It is unfortunate that you have not received any reviewers’ comments for more than a year. Most of the journals take up to four weeks for the peer review process. Since it has already been 14 months, you should definitely consider writing to the journal for withdrawal of the manuscript.
The journal website mentions that the submission fee is non-refundable. However, we suggest you write to the journal editor requesting for withdrawal of the manuscript and refund of the submission fee. In your email, you should emphasize that a review period of more than one year has resulted in a significant delay in your plans to publish the study.
It is advisable that you withdraw the manuscript from the journal and submit to another suitable journal that matches the scope and subject area of the manuscript.