Q: Is it usual for editors to make decision on revision based on single reviewer’s recommendations?

Detailed Question -

I submitted an unsolicited review article to Elsevier medical journal, and after approximately 7 weeks, I got a revision letter, but I only got a report from a single reviewer, the reviewer pointed out few grammatical and typographical errors and few things need to be clarified, and asked me to write about different things related to the topic. I revised the article as suggested, and submitted the revision and the status now “revision submitted to the journal” since 2 weeks. Another question: Is it too early to send an email, nicely asking the editor about an update on the status of my paper?

1 Answer to this question

Although journals usually send a paper to at least two reviewers for peer review, sometimes, they have to make do with one depending on their review criteria and the availability of reviewers. In such cases, the editor himself/herself also does a fairly detailed evaluation of the manuscript to compensate for the lack of another reviewer or asks an associate editor to take responsibility for the paper. Usually, the Associate Editor is an expert in the field/areas covered. The decision will then likely be taken based on assessment of both the editor/associate editor and the peer reviewer unless the former decides to reject the paper without sending it further for peer review. Regarding your question on writing to the journal for an update, we would recommend waiting for another 2 weeks before doing so. The decision on manuscript acceptance depends on several factors, such as availability and responsiveness of peer reviewers and the extent of revisions recommended. Most journals typically take around 4-12 weeks to share their final decision. The status “revision submitted to the journal” implies that the second round of review has likely not started yet, so inquiring about the manuscript status at this stage may not yield a definitive answer on the timeline for this round of review. We hope we’ve been able to answer your questions satisfactorily, and we wish you the best for the editorial decision regarding your paper.