Q: What does a direct change from 'Submitted to Journal' to 'Decision in Process' mean?
I submitted a review article, and it showed as 'Submitted to Journal' for about 2-3 weeks. Then, the status directly changed to 'Decision in Process.' No 'Under Review' step was involved. Does this mean a rejection?
Hello Anuradha – Welcome to the forum! To get to your query right away, unfortunately, it does look to be a rejection. :-/ And the reason, if it is indeed so, could be because it’s a review article. The thing with review articles is that they have higher chances of being accepted if they are solicited/commissioned/requested by the journal rather than being submitted by the researcher. The one time they could be considered is if you have made a presubmission inquiry and the editor has expressed some interest.
All the same, there may be some hope if the Editor-in-Chief (EIC), who makes the final decision on the manuscript, either rescinds the Associate Editor’s decision or they collectively ask you to submit to another journal from the same publisher (in case it’s a big publisher). In yet another case, they could ask you to submit it as a simple letter to the editor, which is like a truncated version of the piece.
So, you could wait to hear from the journal. In case it’s a reject, you could submit to another journal making some changes as necessary. But this time, do consider sending the next journal(s) a presubmission inquiry – to save your time.
For the various points discussed above, here are some resources to help you in the near future:
- How to write a presubmission inquiry: Dos and don'ts
- Tips from a journal editor: How to select a journal for your paper?
- Secondary research – the basics of narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis
Hope that helps. And all the best for whatever is next!