Q: What does a quick change of statuses from submission to EIC decision mean?

Detailed Question -

Right after submission, the status of my manuscript was ‘Assigning Co-EIC.’ Then, the EIC was assigned and the status changed to ‘Assigning Reviewers.’ Two days later, the status changed to ‘Awaiting EIC Decision.’ What does this mean?

1 Answer to this question

Such a quick change of statuses soon after submission usually means that the journal believes either that your manuscript isn’t working for them (for issues around the research or the paper) or that there’s no/low scope fit. The ‘Assigning Reviewers’ status here and the quick change from it probably refers to the internal review rather than the external (peer) review. As the statuses have changed so quickly, the decision might be quick too. So, you’ll probably know in the next few days.

However, in some cases, it may not be a complete reject. At times, they may make a reject-and-resubmit decision (in case they see some merit in the manuscript). At other times, and in case this is a big publisher with multiple journals, they may ask you to submit to another journal in the same family of journals but offering a better scope match.

In the worst case that it’s a reject, as you may know, you may submit to another journal, after making any changes to the manuscript based on any feedback you receive from this journal or as you see fit.

To minimize/avoid the chances of future rejections, you may find the following resources useful:

Apart from the above, we’d also like to share information of our new AI-powered platform, R Pubsure, that aims to help you minimize/avoid desk rejection. R Pubsure does this in two ways. Firstly, its machine checks allow you to improve your manuscript until it’s submission-ready. Then, you get the chance to showcase your submission-ready manuscript to several editors on board the platform, one of whom may consider it for publishing with their journal (if of course it’s interesting and relevant). You may find out more about the platform here: R Pubsure

Hope that helps. All the best for your next steps!