Q: How do I write an inquiry to the editor about my manuscript's current status?

Detailed Question -

Through Elsevier online system I have responded to the journal’s revision request, and after 2 days, the status has changed to 'with editor.' However, for the last 2 months the status hasn’t changed. Should I have to write an email to an editor about the process for the paper? I am a bit worried if I am giving impressions like urging them. But waiting for the decision gets too long. Please advise me how to write email politely. 

2 Answers to this question

Since the status has remained unchanged for the past two months, I think you can write to the editor inquiring about the status of your paper. I don’t think the editor will feel that you are being too pushy; most editors understand the kind of anxiety that authors go through. However, make sure that you maintain a polite and courteous tone throughout the email.

Here is a template that you can use to inquire about the current status of your paper:

Dear Mr./Ms. XXX [Editor's Name],

I have submitted my revised manuscript titled XXXX [manuscript id: xxxx] to your journal via the online submission system on dd/mm/yyyy [date of submission]. Two days later, the status changed to ‘with editor.’ However, the status has remained unchanged ever since.

I would be grateful if you could let me know whether there has been any further progress on my submission.


XXXX [Your name and contact details]

You might find this handbook helpful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal


Since the journal has assigned an editor to your manuscript, it is possible that they have not seen your email requests for withdrawal.

You have mentioned the guidelines on the Elsevier website. However, please note that these guidelines refer to making changes to the manuscript and not withdrawal. Therefore, if you wish to withdraw your manuscript, you can still proceed with the withdrawal request.

But as you mentioned, your concern is only regarding some problem in the references, which in my opinion, should not be a major problem. You need not volunteer to withdraw your manuscript for reasons related to mistakes in the reference list. You can instead rectify the error or clarify the situation when you address comments raised during the peer review process. Alternatively, you can also send an email to the journal editor explaining this situation.

However, if you do believe that the problem is a major one and a withdrawal is inevitable, then you can write another email to the journal, politely reminding them of your previous email. You can continue to write to the journal once every week till your request for withdrawal is approved.  

If you wish to go ahead with the withdrawal, these posts will help you: