Q: What to do if the status remains "Editor Assigned" for more than 5 weeks?
I have submitted a manuscript to a Springer journal and the status has been “Editor Assigned” for 5 weeks. I’m not sure whether this status is because the Springer journal does not use the status “Under review,” or because just the process is delayed. Should I inquire the journal about the exact status? Your advice would be appreciated.
In my opinion, the status has remained unchanged due to a delay at this stage. One possible reason for the delay in sending your paper for peer review could be that the editor is having difficulty finding a reviewer for your paper. Delays at this stage are quite common, and I have come across cases where the status has remained "Editor assigned" for two months or even more. However, you should definitely write to the editor politely inquiring why this stage is taking so long. You can ask if the delay is due to difficulty in finding reviewers and volunteer to suggest reviewers if you haven't done so already.
Delays can and do occur at different stages of the journal evaluation process, and you need not worry too much. However, it is important to write to the journal from time to time in case of delays as this can sometimes help process things faster.