Q: What to do if the review process is delayed and the editor is unresponsive?
I submitted a manuscript to a journal about 3 months ago, and it was sent for peer review almost immediately. After 2 months from submission, I sent the editor a polite letter to speed up the review process. I resent the letter again last week as there was no response. I am still waiting for a response from the editor or a change in the status. Should I wait for more time or resubmit the paper to another journal?
Peer review is a time-consuming process, and it is not unusual for it to take over 3 months to complete. However, it is slightly unusual that the Editor has not replied to your emails. Most editors respond to authors' queries within a few days as they are aware that authors can get anxious. At this stage, I feel it would be best to wait a while longer.
Meanwhile, send another email simply inquiring about the status, rather than asking him to speed up the review process. Explain that you are worried because you had written to him twice but not received a response. Politely ask what the current status of your paper is. If he still does not reply, try contacting the journal and finding out if the Editor’s email address is correct. If, even after a few more weeks, you neither get a response from the journal, nor find any change in status, it would be better to withdraw your paper.
For this, you will need to inform the Editor of your decision to withdraw and request a confirmation of the withdrawal. Do not submit your manuscript to another journal before you receive a confirmation of withdrawal from the Editor, as this can be considered as a case of duplicate or simultaneous submission.