Q: Should I write to the journal if the status has been 'Independent Review' for two months?
I submitted to Frontiers in Genetics. The status has been ‘Independent Review’ for two months. Shall I write to the editor for an update? How should I write the email?
Two months is a bit long for the ‘Independent Review,’ especially as the average time from submission to decision for the journal is 90 days, as stated on their Collaborative Peer Review page. So, if the Independent Review itself has taken 60 days (so far) of the 90 days, the next stage (of Interactive Review) will consume even more of the overall timeline.
So, yes, you can go ahead and write to them for an update. Before doing so, it would help to go through the page above to know whether all the stages and processes apply to your manuscript. This may also help in preparing points to talk about in your mail. Apart from this, of course, you could share any academic dependency you have for knowing the outcome on time.
For structuring and writing the mail, you may refer to this excellent handbook (sections 6 and 7): A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal
All the best for the mail – and the manuscript! :-)