Q: What does it mean if my revised manuscript has been at Required Reviews Completed for three weeks?

Detailed Question -

Hello, everyone. I submitted my manuscript to an Elsevier journal in January 2020. After 10 months, I received a major revision and a minor revision decision by the [two] reviewers. One-and-a-half months after submitting the revised version, the status changed to Required Reviews Completed and has remained so for more than three weeks. What does this mean: good or bad? Thank you.

1 Answer to this question

Required Reviews Completed by itself does not mean anything good or bad. It simply means, as the naming suggests, that the necessary reviews have been completed. As these were the reviews of the revised manuscript, the reviewers have probably provided their recommendation to the handling editor (known variously as Associate Editor, Managing Editor, or Deputy Editor), who will now make their decision. The AE/ME/DE, after making their decision, will refer to the Editor-in-Chief (also known as Executive Editor), who will make the final decision. So, as you can see, Required Reviews Completed does not carry any signs of the decision.

In case you were referring to the time for which it has been at this status, three weeks isn’t particularly long, especially when the manuscript seems to have been in review for the better part of 10 months.

In your case, it might be especially trickier to predict, because for the first round, you had both a minor review decision and a major review decision. In case you have addressed all queries, one possibility is that the reviewer who asked for a major revision may ask for a few more changes. However, presently, as discussed above, it’s the call of the two journal editors. So, you should simply wait to hear from them. In case it takes longer though, you may wish to drop them a mail requesting an update on the manuscript.

Hope that helps. For more insights into journal decision-making, you may go through the following resources:

All the best for the next updates on your paper!