Q: What to do when a journal is non-responsive for almost a year?

Detailed Question -

After attending ICASIT 2015 (Feb 2015) in Malaysia I have submitted my paper in Feb 2015 to Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences (MJAS) as they told me about this journal. So I got review of my paper in July and sent my response letter but got no reply after that. I asked again for my paper stage in Nov but they said my paper was transferred to the journal so don’t need to worry. And additionally they mentioned my paper will be published in the first volume in 2016. However, when I saw the first volume issued in Feb my paper hasn’t published. What’s worse, I realized I never got any ‘reject’ or ‘accept’ letter from the journal after conversions with my professor. So I have sent another email to the journal whether to check my paper is accepted or not. Ever since 24th Mar, they haven’t replied my email though I sent already 3 emails to them. What should I do?

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1 Answer to this question

From what I understand, the last time the journal communicated with you was in July 2015. It has been more than a year since you’ve submitted your paper, and the review was also done more than 8 months ago. This could indicate that either the journal is not interested in your paper or that your paper is lying buried under piles of others and the editor has forgotten about it.

Another possibility could be that your emails are not reaching the editor. Check the journal website and see if you can find any other contact person’s email address. You can write to this person explaining the situation and seeking help. Also, make sure that you add a read receipt to every email that you send to the journal. That way, you will come to know if the editor has read your email.

Additionally, since you were introduced to the journal during your visit to ICASIT 2015, check if they know the editor and can confirm his/her email address. If nothing else works, you will have to consider withdrawing your manuscript from the journal.