Q: What does the status Under Review mean after submitting the revised article?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my article to an Elsevier journal on August 5, 2020. The status changed to Under Review on August 30. On December 5, I received a minor revision decision from one reviewer and a major revision decision from the other. On December 20, I submitted the revised article. On December 22, the status changed to Under Review, and has remained so since then.

I spoke with Elsevier’s journal assistance via online chat. They informed me that one reviewer has submitted their comments on December 25, but the other reviewer has not responded to the editor’s invitation.

1 Answer to this question

Thanks for the details you have provided – and the right ones. :) So, your paper seems to have progressed along quite well, although you have received a minor + major revision decision. It has got stuck at the re-review stage, probably that due by the reviewer who made the major revision decision. If so, that’s probably the reason for the delay. Additionally, this reviewer may be a busy one, that’s why they may not have yet responded to the editor’s invite for the re-review. Alternatively, they may be on an extended holiday break. (The other reviewer seemed to have made sure they sent their comments before the holiday break, right on December 25.)

Anyway, you should probably hear from them within a week or two. In case you don’t, you could write to the editor seeking an update on the manuscript, especially with regard to the second reviewer’s (delay of the) re-review.

To answer your actual question, that’s quite simple. Some journals/publishers signify even the second round of review as Under Review, which is typically meant for the first review of the manuscript, rather than the confirmation review.

For more on journal statuses, you may wish to look up this informative handbook: A guide to understanding journal statuses

And for communicating with the journal in a variety of scenarios, you may find this handbook useful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal

Incidentally, both are available from R Upskill, our sister brand providing learning programs for a variety of researcher needs, from writing to submission to publication to promotion. Do visit the site to know more.

For now though, all the best for the next update from the journal!