Q: What does a change of status from Awaiting Reviewer Selection to Awaiting Decision in one week after submission mean?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my manuscript to a journal using the ScholarOne system. After submission, the status changed to Awaiting Reviewer Selection. Today, the status changed to Awaiting Decision. Does it mean the work will be rejected?

1 Answer to this question

Hello John – Firstly, welcome to the forum!

So, as the status changed twice so soon after submission, here’s what it could mean, discussed in two parts.

Quick change to Awaiting Reviewer Selection

While this typically means that the manuscript is awaiting peer review, because the status changed so quickly after submission, this probably refers to the internal review, which is about aspects such as a match with the journal’s scope, the quality of the writing/presentation, and the research at a basic level. This is done by the administrative team, the Associate Editor (AE), or a combination of the two. Based on this, they may have decided to change this to Awaiting Decision.

Quick change to Awaiting Decision

As you already seem to know, the Awaiting Decision status means that the AE has made a decision on the manuscript and referred this decision to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) for the final decision. While such a quick change suggests that it may be a desk rejection, there may be some reason to hope. It could be a reject-and-resubmit decision or it could even be a decision to submit to a related journal with a better scope match (in case scope match is an issue and this is a big publisher with multiple journals). Apart from this, there may be many other reasons why a journal may reject a manuscript, as explained in a linked article at the end of this response.

So, you should wait for the next decision. As the status has already changed quite quickly here, the next decision may be updated shortly too.

In the ‘worst’ case that this is a rejection decision, as you may know, you can submit to another journal, after making changes based on any feedback from this journal.

For the various points discussed here, you may find the following resources helpful:

Hope that helps. And all the best for the next step(s)!