Q: It's been about 4 months since I submitted a manuscript to a journal, but the status remains “Awaiting Reviewer Selection”.
I contacted the journal several times, but there was no reply. I also told them that “if it takes longer or they do not respond, I consider withdrawing and resubmitting the manuscript to another journal”. But there is still no response.
Now I want to submit my manuscript to another journal, but it would be a duplicate submission in this situation. What should I do?
Dear author, we’re sorry that you are in this unfortunate and frustrating position. Withdrawal of submitted manuscripts is not very common, and is not considered a best practice, so we would recommend that you try and contact the journal more directly if possible – through a direct contact number or by reaching out to different editors that work on the editorial board.
Sometimes finalizing peer-reviewers can take a fair bit of time, depending on the peer-reviewers' availability and response time. Therefore, it might be prudent to wait a bit longer. If you'd like to go ahead with the withdrawal, you will need to write to the journal with a withdrawal request, which is signed by all authors. Only once you receive a confirmation of the withdrawal from the journal should you submit the paper to a different journal. As you know, submission to two different journals is considered unethical and therefore, please ensure you receive an official confirmation of withdrawal. This link might also help: How do I approach an unresponsive editor?
We wish you good luck, and hope that this issue is resolved as soon as possible.