Q: What should I do if the status of my paper has been Awaiting Reviewer Assignment for almost a month?

Detailed Question -

The status of my paper has been Awaiting Reviewer Assignment for almost one month. What’s going on here?

1 Answer to this question

The manuscript being stuck at Awaiting Reviewer Assignment for a month is not uncommon. This means that while the manuscript cleared the desk screening and was deemed good to go for peer review, the journal is finding it somewhat challenging to identify the right peer reviewers for your paper. This could be because potential peer reviewers either are busy or have a conflict of interest with your paper. At times, your topic or even your field may be too specialized to easily find a reviewer. If that is indeed the case and the journal policy allows, you may suggest some peer reviewers (if you know any). Even otherwise, it may be a good idea to write to the journal seeking an update on your manuscript. In case this situation is likely to continue, you may consider withdrawing the paper from here and submitting elsewhere. That may mean some loss of time, but as your paper cleared the desk screening here, it’s likely to do the same with some other related journal.

For more information, you may refer to this similar query by another researcher: What can I do if my submission remains 'Awaiting Reviewer Assignment' for a long time?

For more on withdrawing your manuscript, you may refer to this resource: Should I withdraw my paper if the journal is taking unusually long to process?

And for help with email templates for communicating with journals, you may find it worthwhile to invest in this handbook: Templates for communicating with the journal

Note: The handbook is available on R Upskill, a sister brand that offers learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work and career. For a limited period, all programs are available for free. So, go ahead and give it a try!

For now though, all the best with the next actions on your manuscript!