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.