Q: How to write a final email to the journal if they don't respond to our withdrawal request?

Detailed Question -

We submitted a co-authored paper, but now we changed our mind and now we want to resubmit it to another journal. We already sent a request to withdraw, but the journal confirmation for it has not been received yet. In order to prepare for the next submission, we want to send an email to say that “we understand that the withdrawal procedure has been already completed.”

1 Answer to this question

It is unethical to withdraw a paper from a journal at an advanced stage just to submit to a better journal. Ideally, you should withdraw your paper before it is sent for peer review. Reviewing is an unpaid service that researchers provide. Therefore, it is unfair to waste their valuable time and effort just because you wish to submit to another journal.  Most journals do not allow a withdrawal at an advanced stage unless there has been a major delay or problem at the journal end. 

If the journal is a legitimate one and if your paper has already gone through peer review, I suggest you do not withdraw it. However, if it's still in the early stages of the journal's evaluation process, you can consider withdrawing it. 

For this, you first have to send a withdrawal letter providing a valid reason for withdrawal. If the journal does not respond, you need to wait for a few weeks, sending reminders 2-3 times in between. If you still don't receive a response, you can send an email saying that you will consider your paper withdrawn from the journal if you don't receive a response within a specific date. Once that date is over and the journal still hasn't responded, you can send a final email saying that since all your efforts to contact the journal have failed, you will consider your paper "unsubmitted."  

However, remember that you cannot do this if the journal responds to your emails and provides a valid reason why they will not allow your paper to be withdrawn.

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