Q: Should I withdraw the paper if it has been Under Review for more than six months?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my paper to the Impurity Society in February 2019. The status changed to Under Review. However, the status has remained the same for more than six months. I have communicated with the editor several times, but they have replied by asking me to be patient. Given this situation, should I withdraw the paper?

1 Answer to this question

Firstly, we have made some edits to your question for smoother understanding. Also, we are not sure whether you mean February 2020 rather than February 2019, because that would mean an even longer time in review. Finally, we are not familiar with a journal of the name you have provided; perhaps, it is a local or niche journal. Anyway, you seem to have a bigger issue facing you, so let’s get to that.

Six months is a long time for a paper to be in Under Review, but at times, papers have even been in review for a year or longer (as you can read here: What should I do about my manuscript being under peer review for two years?). Now, the editor has replied to you, but they haven’t said how long you need to wait. So, if it has indeed been over a year or more and if there’s no more response forthcoming from the journal, we would indeed suggest withdrawing from here and submitting elsewhere. There are certain things you need to keep in mind and do when withdrawing, which you can refer to in the questions linked toward the end of the response. Also, you will need to update your manuscript as it has been so long since you wrote it, and some things would have changed in this period.

For these various actions, we foresee a lot of communication across different journals. To help with that, you may refer to this handbook by a sibling brand, R Upskill: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal [Note: R Upskill provides a suite of courses, handbooks, and other learning programs for researchers/academics. So, feel free to explore more.]

Now, here are the withdrawal-related questions by other researchers mentioned above. Do go through them in detail.

Hope all that helps. All the best for the way forward on your paper!