Q: How long should the 'Awaiting EIC Decision' last before a final decision?
I submitted a paper, and it took 10 days to be assigned editors and reviewers. After that, it took three weeks for ‘Awaiting reviewer scores.’ Now, it is almost a month since the status changed to ‘Awaiting EIC Decision.’ It is a little odd that the latter statuses are taking longer. If ‘Awaiting EIC Decision’ is taking too long, is that a good sign or a bad sign? Any thoughts?
Yes, it is a bit unusual that the latter statuses are taking longer. But as we are seeing, the EIC decision does seem to be taking longer presently. This could be due to the situation necessitated by COVID19, which has impacted journal workflows and decision-making to some extent. However, it could also be that they are deliberating over the final decision, which can sometimes be a good thing for the author, because you may not wish a hasty decision over your manuscript. We don’t wish to overreach and predict what the decision could be. So, you should wait for the next update. However, as it’s been about a month, there is no harm in writing to them requesting an update.
For a better understanding of the EIC Decision status, you may refer to this resource: How long does a paper remain at the 'Decision in Process' status?
For help with writing to the journal, you may find it helpful to invest in this handbook: Templates for communicating with the journal
Hope that helps. And hope you hear from the journal soon. All the best!
Incidentally, as we talked about the potential impact of COVID-19 on research publishing, you may find it worthwhile to attend this webinar: Maintaining trust in peer review during COVID-19
The webinar is a part of Peer Review Week 2020 (September 21-25), the theme being Trust in Peer Review. The webinar should provide a richer understanding of how research publishing was impacted by the pandemic, and how research publishers (and peer reviewers) coped. Plus, it’s absolutely FREE! So, if interested, you may sign up here: Sign up for ‘Maintaining trust in peer review during COVID-19’