Q: What should I do if after the review, there has been no communication from the journal?

Detailed Question -

I submitted a manuscript to a journal. After about 20 days, the status changed to Under Review. Then, after one-and-a-half months, it changed to Reviews Completed. Since then, it has been almost 50 days, but there has been no communication from the journal. I don't know if the manuscript will be rejected or whether there will be an opportunity to revise based on the reviewers' comments.

1 Answer to this question

This situation is somewhat unusual. Usually, manuscripts are stuck either before the peer review (when the journal is assessing it) or during the peer review (due to various challenges of peer reviewers), but not once the reviews have come in. It may be that there is some internal challenge with the journal and/or the Associate Editor (AE). As it has been close to two months since the reviews came in, and you are understandably anxious to know what the first decision is, you can send a mail to the journal requesting an update on the status of the review.

About your other concern (whether the manuscript will be rejected or whether you’ll receive a minor/major revision decision), as you can understand, we are not in a position to predict the present outcome. That said, speaking from experience, it is more likely to be a revision decision, and if pushed, we could possibly say that it’s likely to be a major revision decision.

For help with writing to the journal, you may find this handbook useful: How to communicate with the journal? Peer review comments, cover letter and more

The handbooks are available from R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work, including writing, submission, publication, and research promotion.

Hope that helps. And hope you hear from the journal soon!