Q: Now the status is awaiting DE decision. Does that mean desk rejection?
I submitted a manuscript and the status changed from Awaiting AE assignment to Awaiting Referee Selection and then Awaiting Referee Assignment. After that, it changed to Awaiting Referee Selection once again. Now the status is awaiting DE decision. Does that mean desk rejection?
Thank you for your question! When a manuscript is submitted, it undergoes editorial assessment. This stage could be called as "Awaiting AE assignment", wherein the manuscript is evaluated for ethical considerations and scope match with the readership of the journal. Next, suitable referees are selected based on the subject area of your paper, and this phase is “Awaiting Referee Selection” post which, there is the "Awaiting Referee Assignment”.
In this case, possibly the invited referees are not available, hence there was again a round of referee selection. As we are not aware of the exact timelines of these statuses, it’d be inappropriate to comment if manuscript is decisioned as a reject.
Let’s not presume the negative outcome and hope for better.