Q: Should I email the journal if my paper has been Under Review for over six months?
My paper has been Under Review at Trends in Food Science and Technology for over six months. The status date has been changing almost every month, but I haven't received any feedback from them yet. Is it okay to email them and ask why it is taking all this time?
Six months is a long time for a paper to be Under Review, although there are several instances of papers that have been in review longer. However, this is an Elsevier journal with an impact factor (IF) of over 11 (11.077), which is exceptional. It is also the official journal of two large international food science and technology organizations, the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST) and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). In short, this is a very prestigious journal released by a very well-known publisher. So, the review cycle here is likely to be longer than at other journals/publishers. All the same, it’s quite reasonable to send them a mail seeking an update on your review. Some journals do not respond to mid-review queries, but this one should hopefully do. :-)
For insights into the journal review process and decision-making, you may find it helpful to go through the following resources:
- Peer review process and editorial decision making at journals
- How a journal editor reaches a decision on a manuscript after peer review
And if you need help with writing to the journal, you may find this handbook helpful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal
All the best for the next actions on your manuscript!