Q: The status has been “decision in process” for more than 8 months
I submitted a manuscript to an Elsevier journal over a year ago and the status remains “decision in process” for more than 8 months now. I have been sending a reminder almost once a month for these 5 months, but I just get a reply saying “we will ask the editor” every time and there has been no progress. Is there no choice but to keep just waiting?
Journal review times can vary significantly from one journal to the next and can, in some cases, go up to a year or more. You can generally find information about the typical time taken from submission to first/final decision on the journal website, but the actual time taken for processing your manuscript may be longer than that indicated on the journal website.
If submitting the paper elsewhere is an acceptable choice for you, you could write to the journal about withdrawing your paper. However, this option could be problematic too, since you’d have to go through the submission cycle all over again and there may be a delay at the new journal too.
Unfortunately, if you wish to continue with the current journal, following up with the editor remains the best option available. Make sure that you maintain a polite and courteous tone throughout the email.
Here is a template that you can use to inquire about the current status of your paper:
Dear Mr./Ms. XXX [Editor's Name],
I have submitted my revised manuscript titled XXXX [manuscript id: xxxx] to your journal via the online submission system on dd/mm/yyyy [date of submission]. Two days later, the status changed to ‘with editor.’ However, the status has remained unchanged ever since.
I would be grateful if you could let me know whether there has been any further progress on my submission.
XXXX [Your name and contact details]
Hope this helps. All the best for your submission!
Thank you for your question! Please note that the journal guidelines mention the following: Figures must be embedded, in place, in your article-text file for the reviewer’s reference. Should your paper be accepted for publication, you will be asked to upload individual figure files. Number figures should be in the order in which they appear in text. The journal does provide you the opportunity for uploading individual figure files if your paper is accepted for publication. However, considering the fact that the journal also mentions that figures should be arranged in order, I would recommend that you inform the journal editor and acknowledge the numbering mistake in figures and revise it when the reviewers provide you the chance to modify your manuscript.
You may also find these resources helpful:
Hope this helps. All the best for your paper!