Q: What does a change from "With Editor" to "Decision in process" mean?

Detailed Question -

Hi! I have submitted a paper to a journal 2 weeks ago and its status changed from 'With editor' to 'Decision in process.' I am worried, what does that mean?

1 Answer to this question

Unfortunately, this seems to indicate that your paper will be desk rejected, that is rejected without peer review. The status shows "With editor" when a manuscript is going through the initial editorial screening. If the paper clears this screening, it is sent out for peer review, and the status changes to "Reviewers assigned" or "Under review."

However, if the manuscript does not clear the editorial screening, it is not sent for peer review and receives a desk rejection. Thus, a change in status from "With Editor" directly to "Decision in process" generally indicates a desk rejection. A desk rejection usually occurs if the manuscript does not match the scope of the journal, if it fails to meet the journal's guideline or quality standards.

However, do not feel demotivated. Rejection is a natural part of the journal publication process. In fact, get ready to submit your paper to another journal and this time, make sure that you choose a journal that is well-matched with your paper in terms of scope, target audience, etc.

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