Q: What does the With Editor status mean for an Elsevier journal after being with the Managing Editor (ME)?

Detailed Question -

I submitted a paper to an Elsevier journal. They sent me a mail stating that it is with the ME. Recently, I received another mail stating that my paper is now with the Editor. What does this mean? Thanks in advance.

7 Answers to this question

The With Editor status may refer to the handling editor for your paper, known as either the Associate Editor (AE) or the Managing Editor (ME), or the Editor of the journal, known as the Editor-in-Chief (EIC). You haven’t mentioned whether there have been any other status updates since submission. So, if it has moved to the EIC (or ‘Editor’) after the ME, it may unfortunately indicate a desk rejection, based on the ME’s recommendation. That said, the EIC makes the final decision on any manuscript. So, they may also decide to rescind the ME’s decision, make a reject-or-resubmit decision, or suggest transferring (submitting) to a sister/partner journal. In the unfortunate case that it’s a desk rejection, as you may know, you may submit to another journal (after making any changes as necessary). But you should wait for the next update to determine your next steps.

While on desk rejection, it may interest you to know of our sister brand, R Pubsure, a manuscript assessment tool that performs an evaluation of your manuscript to help make it submission-ready, but more importantly, to minimize or even avoid desk rejection. It does this with its suite of checks (such as for language, structure, and declarations), which it provides in a report for you to use to modify your manuscript. You may learn more about R Pubsure here and view a sample report here.

And here are some resources that should help you understand and avoid manuscript rejection.

Hope all that helps. All the best for your next steps!


In fact, the manuscript was submitted to the journal, it did not take a reference number. When sending an inquiry to the journal, it was reported that the manuscript was with the managing editor. After two weeks had passed, the manuscript took a reference number and the status changed to with the editor a few days ago.


Thanks for providing this additional information. So, it seems there was a glitch earlier, and the subsequent updates have aimed to address the glitch. So, it may not immediately indicate a desk rejection. :) It most probably means that the manuscript is being reviewed by the ME, who after checking for aspects like novelty and quality, will make an initial decision on the manuscript. This could be to send it for peer review or any of the outcomes mentioned in our previous response. You should know in the next update. Until then, you may go through the following articles for insights into how journal editors view manuscript submissions: A journal editor's insight into what happens post manuscript submission

Again, all the best!


Thank you very much, but I am still confused about the role played by the managing editor and the editor?


Ok, that would be simpler to answer. :) The ME – or sometimes, the Associate Editor (AE) – is the handling editor for your manuscript. They ‘handle’ or are responsible for your manuscript through the various stages of publication based on what the decision is on your manuscript. Decision-wise, they make the initial decision on your manuscript (after submission, after peer review, after review fixes, and so on), but the final decision rests with the Editor, or more accurately, Editor-in-Chief (EIC). The ME/AE shares their initial decision with the EIC, who makes the final decision, as they are responsible for the overall aim/scope/vision of the journal. For more, you may refer to this previous query: Who takes the final decision on a manuscript: the AE or EiC?

Hope that helps!


Dear, thanks for your generous response. I would like to add some details related to the letter I received from the journal, which reads as follows: “The manuscript is now with managing editor for internal evaluation process, based on the result of that step, the manuscript will be passed to the editor for more process.”, My question is what is the job nature of the editor at that point?


No worries – we are here to support. :)

About the details you have provided this time and the question you have asked this, we believe we have responded to it earlier. All the same, we can clarify it some more, perhaps by breaking it down…

“The manuscript is now with managing editor for internal evaluation process...” > This means that the ME is performing the initial check on the paper for the initial decision, which could be any of: send for peer review, reject, suggest transferring to a sister/partner journal with a better scope match, or make a reject-and-resubmit decision.

“…based on the result of that step, the manuscript will be passed to the editor for more process.” > Once the ME makes the initial decision on the manuscript, they refer their decision to the Editor (EIC). The Editor will consider the ME’s decision, have a look at the manuscript themselves, and make a final decision, which could be any of the ones mentioned above. The word/decision of the Editor/EIC is final.

So, to answer your question, that is the nature of the Editor’s job/role at this point: consider what the ME has decided and then make the final decision. Here’s a similar question (and a similar answer) from earlier in the forum: What is the role of the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) right after paper submission?

Hope that helps. From the information you have shared so far, presently, you simply need to wait to hear next from the journal. So, all the best for that!