Q: How can I write a polite reminder to the journal editor for a decision on my manuscript?
I submitted a manuscript on April 20, and the status remains unchanged at “Under editorial assessment” till date. Since the date of the status has been unchanged also for 2 months, I sent an inquiry to ask about the status of the manuscript a week ago. Then I got the following reply; “At present, the manuscript is still under editorial assessment. Once a decision has been reached, you will receive a notification. Should you have further concerns or queries, please let me know.”
After receipt of this email, the date of the status is still unchanged. This manuscript is my thesis, so I need to know the result asap, since I have to submit it to another journal if the result is negative. Please advise me how to write a polite reminder.
I can understand the pressure you are in currently. Most journals take a few weeks for the initial editorial assessment, but in your case, it’s been too long. I think you should explain the urgency of your situation to the journal and request them to expedite the process. Explain that you are a PhD student and that you need an accepted paper for your graduation. Mention a date by which you would need a decision. There are cases when PhD students need an early decision on their paper for their graduation, so hopefully the editor will understand your problem.
We have a handbook on templates for communicating with the journal which includes a template for requesting an early decision for graduation.
Another way to ensure that you get an early decision would be to ask your supervisor to write to the editor on your behalf. As your supervisor and a senior researcher, if he/she puts in a word on your behalf, the editor might feel obliged to minimize further delays.
Finding the right and relevant literature is essential in finding a direction for your research and defining your research path. It is only through reading literature related to your topic that you can find out what research has been done already and which areas need to be explored. The most basic step is to read scientific research papers published in your field. You can either access relevant articles on the internet or through your institution. You can refer to scientific journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.
While searching for literature, make sure you use keywords related to your field. Alternately, you can search by using author names or titles or articles you are interested in. To make your search more effective, you can find databases that are most suitable to your field. You can also ask your institution librarian for help in finding the right and relevant articles for you. Also, it would be a good idea to regularly read latest scientific publications so that you are aware of the latest research and goings-on in your field.
Check out these articles to make your search more effective:
- Tips for effective literature searching and keeping up with new publications
- SLIDE DECK: How to conduct an effective literature search and keep up with new publications
- Expert advice on reading scientific literature as a habit
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