Q: What should I do if I mistakenly submitted to the wrong section in Frontiers in Psychology?

Detailed Question -

I submitted to Frontiers in Psychology three months ago, but chose the wrong section. It should have been Developmental Psychology. I don’t know if this is why the status has been in Editorial Assignment for a long time. A month ago, I wrote an email asking the reason [for the delay], but there has been no reply. Will they not reply? I am quite anxious. I don’t know whether to wait or withdraw the manuscript. Please help me. Thank you!

1 Answer to this question

It’s unfortunate that you submitted to the wrong section. But it may be understandable as Frontiers has a lot of journals, and many journals have several sections (sub-journals). What’s good is that you have realized your error and are now trying to correct it as early as possible.

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Now, the journal editor may not have replied more because they are busy, though there is a possibility that they may not have replied because your manuscript does not match the aims/scope of the journal. However, in such cases, they usually either desk-reject it, or if they know of a sister/partner journal with a  better fit, they may refer you to it. As this is the case with Frontiers, they should ideally refer you to Frontiers in Developmental Psychology.

What you should do is to withdraw the manuscript from the present journal and then submit to Frontiers in Developmental Psychology. So, you could write a withdrawal mail to the present journal and also send a presubmission inquiry to Frontiers in Developmental Psychology explaining the situation. In fact, the editor at Development Psychology may be able to help you with the withdrawal from that journal and the subsequent submission to their journal.

As there is a fair amount of journal communication you may need to do shortly, you may find this handbook useful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal The handbook includes several email templates for writing to journal editors, including presubmission inquiries, delay inquiries, and requests for withdrawal. [The handbook is available on R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work. For a limited period, the courses are available for free. So, do try it out!]

For now though, all the best for successfully withdrawing from one Frontiers journal and submitting to the other!

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