Q: How long does the Decision in Process status last for a paper?
I submitted the second revision of a study to an Elsevier journal on November 11. The status was ‘Under review’ for a week. On December 1, it turned to ‘Decision in Process,’ but has been stuck at this stage for nearly six/seven weeks. How long should I wait? Should I write to the editor?
Until the recent past, the Decision in Process status would last for a week or two. However, since COVID-19, we have seen this stage get longer, going up to three/four weeks or even more. Of course, it also depends on the stature of the journal (top tier in this case, and therefore, likely to take longer), the type of previous revision/s (presumably minor after major in this case, as it was the second revision), the nature of the topic, and last but not the least, the availability of editors/reviewers. In fact, the last may have had a prime role to play in this delay, as the editors/reviewers would have gone on holiday soon after you submitted your revised version, and having got back after the holidays, have had some catching up to do.
Anyway, they should probably get to your paper soon. As we are entering the last week of the month and it will be close to two months since the status changed to the present one, you may write to them sometime this week seeking an update. Hopefully, you’ll hear from them soon, both for your mail and for your paper.
In case the last revision was indeed a minor revision, there’s a good chance it may receive a positive decision, so all the best for that!
In case it’s an accept, you’ll then need to prepare for the proofing stage, for which you may find these resources useful: