Q: What does it mean if the status changed directly from Awaiting Reviewer Selection to Awaiting EIC Decision after 40 days?

Detailed Question -

I submitted an article to a ScholarOne journal. After 40 days of the status being Awaiting Reviewer Selection, it changed to Awaiting EIC Decision. What does this mean? Was the manuscript reviewed? I think the status should have changed to something like Awaiting Reviewer Scores before Awaiting EIC Decision.

1 Answer to this question

Hello Weber – Welcome to the forum.

Although this kind of a change is not common, it does happen. This is typically when the Associate Editor (AE) has not been able to find a peer reviewer, for any of a variety of reasons – availability and conflict of interest (CoI) being the prime ones. Another reason could be that the AE has had a change of mind about the article. One factor for this could be that they now believe your journal would fit better with a related or partner journal. A final reason could be that the AE has changed, and the new AE thinks differently about your submission.

As the manuscript is now at the Awaiting EIC Decision stage, you should probably hear from the journal soon. However, we have noticed that many a paper has been getting ‘stuck’ at the EIC decision stage in recent times. So, if you don’t hear from them in, say, a week, you could write to them seeking clarification about the status change or simply an update. In case the issue is one of not being able to find a reviewer, and you happen to know any (as you appear familiar with the research publishing process), you could consider referring these reviewers to the AE.

For further insights into this status change, you may go through these similar previous queries:

And in case you would like to have ready a bunch of email templates for writing to journals, you may wish to check out this handbook: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal

Note: The handbook is available on R Upskill, a platform that offers learning programs for researchers/academics. R Upskill is one of several researcher support platforms offered by Researcher.Life (or simply, R), a brand related to ours. For a limited period, the courses are available for free.

Hope that helps. All the best for hearing from the journal shortly!