Q: Manuscript status is 'required reviews completed' for 7 weeks
Hi, I have submitted my manuscript to an Elsevier journal. They asked for a revision which was completed and submitted three months ago. The status was changed to "Required Reviews Completed" over 7 weeks ago. Meanwhile, I have sent two inquiries and was told it will be handled soon. Is there anything I can do beside wait patiently for the editor to handle the manuscript?
We completely understand your stress and anxiety caused due to the current status of your manuscript. Generally, second peer-review process is shorter than the first. Goes without saying that same peer reviewers are approached for the second review in order to avoid conflicting views. At times, journals may find it difficult to work around the schedule of same reviewers and end up delaying the process. Well, this is a hypothetical situation but mostly a common one.
Also, we cannot rule out that significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, journals are finding it challenging to meet the timelines. However, you can consider writing to the journal Editor-in-Chief, and inform how critical the situation is for you and request an expected timeline by which they expect to finish reviewing the revised submission.
We also have a few resources on this manuscript status, including a useful handbook curated by our sister brand, R Upskill.
Hope that helps. All the best for your paper!