Q: What is the difference between 'Reviewers Assigned' and 'Under Review' in Springer's Editorial Manager (EM)?
What does the 'Reviewers Assigned' status mean in EM? Does it mean the reviewers have already started looking at the paper, or does that not occur until the 'Under Review' status is displayed?
Hi Tamer! Welcome back to the forum! Before we respond to this question, we thought we could utilize this opportunity to check with you about your earlier query (around the meaning of the With Associate Editor status). We wonder how that submission went. It would be great if you could share with us, either there or here itself. :-)
Coming to your present query, we see you seem to have a sense of it already. So, the ‘Reviewers Assigned’ status means that the peer reviewers (usually two or three) have been assigned. This does not mean that they have started reviewing your manuscript or even taken a look at it. Sometimes, a reviewer may pull out after being assigned, for reasons of a lack of time, mismatch (with their subject area), or conflict of interest. It’s only when the status changes to ‘Under Review,’ as you have rightly understood, that the actual review begins.
From your query, it seems reviewers have been assigned for your manuscript. Which is already a good thing – as that means the associate editor (AE) believes the paper has merit and also matches the journal scope. Given that this is a Springer Nature journal, that’s a great start. So, congrats for completing this milestone!
Now, as you can understand, you’ll have to wait for the reviewers to actually begin reviewing your paper. In case the status remains at ‘Reviewers Assigned’ for a while, that would mean the AE is having challenges finding suitable peer reviewers. So, if you know of any, you could make send them a list of potential reviewers.
Hope that helps. For more information, you may look up the following resources:
- How long does it take for the status to change from "reviewers assigned" to "under review"?
- Does "Under Review" mean that the paper has passed the editorial check?
- Keep calm and wait: A guide to understanding journal statuses [Handbook]
For now though, all the best for the next steps for your manuscript! And do let us know how this one turns out too...