Q: What should I do if the status has not changed from Approaching Reviewers for a month?

Detailed Question -

I submitted a manuscript, and the EO and EE were decided immediately. However, after the status changed to Approaching Reviewers, there has been no update, and it has been a month since then. So, can I make an inquiry about the status now? Please note: The email I received on making the submission stated that “the peer review is to finish in 2 to 3 months after the receipt of the manuscript.”

1 Answer to this question

Yes, it’s quite fine to make an inquiry now. It’s been a month since the editor started looking for (inviting) peer reviewers, and they don’t seem to have succeeded so far. So, you could write to them seeking to know more about the situation. However, as you may know, finding peer reviewers takes time and is usually a challenge; plus, it may depend on your field/topic. For more insights into the challenge of finding peer reviewers, you may find it worthwhile to go through this article: Why is peer review so slow? The first step: identifying peer reviewers

Anyway, writing to them will help you understand how much longer it’s likely to take here, not just for finding reviewers but also for completing the review. That will help you decide whether you should persist with this journal or consider withdrawing from here and submitting elsewhere. In case you decide to withdraw, you may find helpful to go through this previous query by another researcher: Should I withdraw my paper if the journal is taking unusually long to process?

Hope that helps. All the best for writing to the journal and determining your next steps!