Q: What does it mean if my article status changes from 'Undergoing Initial Checking' to 'Pending Recommendation'?

Detailed Question -

Dear Members, What does it mean when the status of an article moves from 'Undergoing Initial Checking' directly to 'Pending Recommendation, Associate Editor Assigned.' I expected the article to change to 'Under Review.' Is there any chance it will proceed to 'Under Review'?

1 Answer to this question

Hello Beri – Welcome to the forum!

Getting straight to your query, the status means that the Associate Editor (AE) has had a look at your manuscript and made a decision on it. The AE will now communicate their decision to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), who makes the final decision.

However, note the use of the word ‘recommendation.’ This is only a recommendation, and not a decision. The EiC makes the final decision (as we just mentioned), and they may well rescind the AE’s decision. At other times, they may ask you to submit your manuscript to a sister journal with a better scope match. Sometimes, of course, it may be a desk rejection. :-( However, you have some reason to hope (as we just discussed too). So, it would be best to wait for the next status update.

Now, such a quick and direct movement to the decision/recommendation stage probably means that your article may not have quite matched the focus of the journal or that they may not have been interested in it for various reasons. In the worst case that it is a desk reject, as you may know, you can submit to another journal, after making any relevant changes based on any feedback from this journal.

Until you hear from them next, you may go through the following resources to understand how to improve your chances of an accept decision.

Hope that helps. And all the best for the next steps!