Q: What does a change from 'Awaiting Reviewer Assignment' to 'Under Review' after three months indicate in ScholarOne?

Detailed Question -

My manuscript status in the ScholarOne submission system remained 'Awaiting Reviewer Assignment' for three months and then changed to 'Under Review.' What does this change indicate? Does this indicate a rejection from the editor?

1 Answer to this question

Hi Amal – welcome back to the forum! This question seems on similar lines to your earlier query, though the difference is that there, things moved to ‘Ready for Decision’ quite quickly, whereas here, they’ve moved slowly, but perhaps a bit more positively. :-) Incidentally, we wonder what would have happened with the earlier submission, although it was a while ago. Was it indeed a desk rejection, or was there a positive outcome? You could share either here or there.

Coming to your present query, as we just indicated, this has been a slow change from ‘Awaiting Reviewer Assignment’ to ‘Under Review.’ But this could be because the associate editor (AE) may have had a challenge finding reviewers for your manuscript. Anyway, they seem to have found the required number of peer reviewers now, and your manuscript is presently in peer review. So, no, this is not presently a rejection. In fact, it means that the journal has performed an initial review of your submission, and after finding that it works at a basic level (scope match, adherence to guidelines, and quality and novel research), has decided to send it for peer review. Of course, you’ll now need to wait for the peer review comments, but it’s cleared the initial hurdle. So, good show there!

Just one tip though. It’s not clear if you were in contact with the journal the past three months, but in case you weren’t, ensure this is not the case going forward. It always helps to keep checking the status with the journal, though of course, without coming across as nagging. For insights into how to send a polite reminder to the journal, you may refer to this resource: Is it impolite if I send an inquiry to the editor about review status?

Now, while you wait for the peer review comments, you may consider looking around the site, in case you are coming here after a while. You’ll find we’ve changed quite a few things around. We’ve added a few sections, moved things around a bit (for ease of navigation and use), and also enlarged our focus. Apart from publication resources, we are now looking to support you the researcher in many other aspects of your research life, be it emotional well-being or connecting with a larger group. Here’s a quick look at some of these new spaces.

  • Researchers and Their Stories: Researchers and academics share accounts of various aspects of their lives, from professional to personal.
  • Mental Health in Academia: These resources are aimed to help you manage your emotional well-being, ensuring your holistic growth as a researcher.
  • Daily Motivation for Researchers: We’ve curated motivational tips and quotes from other researchers, one for each day for the year.
  • Researcher Voice: We’ve started off a new group on Facebook for researchers, academics, and scholars from across the world sharing ideas, inputs, and insights on everything you need to thrive and succeed as a researcher.

Feel free to check out any of these sections and more on the site. And of course, all the best for the next stages of your submission!