Q: Should I withdraw my manuscript if the Editor cannot find reviewers?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my paper to a journal around 6 months ago. It has been showing "Under Review" for a long time. The Editor told me that he cannot find reviewers for my paper. Should I wait? Or should I withdraw? If I want to withdraw, how should I do it?

2 Answers to this question

Six months is a long time for finding reviewers. If the Editor has clearly stated that he is unable to find reviewers within this time, I don't think it is worthwhile to wait any longer. It would be advisable to withdraw your manuscript and submit it to another journal rather than waste any more time here.

To withdraw your paper, you need to write an email to the Editor informing him of your decision to withdraw and requesting a confirmation of the withdrawal. Do not submit your manuscript to another journal before you receive a confirmation of withdrawal from the Editor, as this can be considered as a duplicate or simultaneous submission. Additionally, once you receive the confirmation email, save a copy of it as proof of the completion of the withdrawal procedure.

A word of advice for you: When you submit your paper to the next journal, try to provide names of preferred reviewers. If the submission system does not have this option, ask the Editor if you can suggest reviewers. Since the current journal had difficulty in finding reviewers for your paper, there is a possibility that your paper is on a very niche topic, and the other journal might also have the same difficulty. It would speed up the process if you could identify a few preferred reviewers who have expertise in the field.

Answer: Thank you for your answer although it did not comfort me much. This journal like any other I've been in contact with demands a list of a referees (with theirs emails and field of a research) for the review. So this line "we have exhausted our reviewer pool" is a nonsense. They could write back to me that they contacted the suggested reviewers and none of them agreed to review my paper and if I want I could send another list of the reviewers or withdraw my paper and send it to another journal. I think this would be more appropriate and professional from the journal.