Q: Should I withdraw my paper if the status remains unchanged for over a month?

Detailed Question -

I submitted an original article to a medical journal on September 8, and the status remained “with editor” for more than a month. I sent an inquiry after one month, but received no response. I submitted a research letter (brief paper) to the same journal, and its status has also remained the same - “required reviews completed” - for 2 months. This was not the case when I had submitted a paper to the same journal earlier, but I have heard that the Editor-in-chief has changed recently. Do you think I should withdraw my original article? Or, do you think it would be reasonable to wait for some more time?

1 Answer to this question

As it's only been slightly over a month since you've submitted your original article, I feel it is too soon to consider withdrawal, particularly since your previous experience with the journal has been good. Possibly, the new Editor-in-chief (EiC) is taking some time to settle down and understand the processes. I think you should wait for a couple of weeks more, and then send another inquiry to the journal. Keep following up every two weeks until you receive a response. If you don't receive a response after 4-5 reminders, you can consider withdrawal.

Regarding the short article (research letter), the delay in the review could be for a different reason, and might not be related to the EiC being changed. Moreover, it is not uncommon for journals to take more than 2 months for peer review. However, if you are writing to the Editor about the other submission, you can also request an update on the status of the research letter.