Q: How do I approach an unresponsive editor?

Detailed Question -

One of my articles has been under review for 12 months. I was told by the editorial office that both the reviewers' reports were received 5 months ago. I have been waiting for the editor's decision for 5 months! I sent an e-mail to the editor (their institutional e-mail address) a month ago and didn't get any response. I've waited for so long because the editorial assistant told me that the reviewers comments were minor. However, I feel like this turned into a never-ending process. I can't decide if I should withdraw my manuscript or not, especially after losing and entire year! Any advice on what I should do? Thanks!

1 Answer to this question

Your disappointment and frustration are understandable. 12 months is a long time! However, some journals typically take anywhere between 6 months and a year for reverting. Given there has been a gap of more than 6 months, you may try emailing the editor to his/her institutional address, explain politely that it has taken more than 6 months (with a reason for your inquiry, e.g. “my research evaluation is coming up”) and you look forward to a decision soon. If no response, you can try mailing the journal publisher.

Also, you may find the below resources helpful:

For help with writing to the journal, you may find this handbook useful: How to communicate with the journal? Peer review comments, cover letter and more

The handbook is available from R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work, including writing, submission, publication, and research promotion.

Hope that helps. And hope you hear from the journal soon!