Q: What does it mean when the paper's status changes from 'Under Review' after two months to 'Awaiting Recommendation' in the editorial system?
This is quite simple. It means that the peer review is over, taking about two months, and the peer reviewer recommendations are awaited on the paper. So, the reviewers will share their comments with the Associate Editor (AE) along with their recommendations for the paper – whether (or not) they believe the paper has merit and should therefore be considered (or not) for publication. Once their recommendations are in, the AE will form their own opinion of their paper, involving the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) if needed, and then share the decision (called the first decision, unless the decision is to reject) with the author/s, through the next status update. So, you should know the first decision on the paper soon.
In case it’s a revise-and-resubmit decision, you may begin preparing for it by going through the following resources on working through peer review comments:
- How to respond to comments by peer reviewers
- Do's and don'ts for responding to peer reviewers' comments
- How to write a great rebuttal letter
Hope that helps. All the best for the next steps!