Q: Who takes the final decision on a manuscript: the AE or EiC?

Detailed Question -

Dear Editage Insights team, 

I submitted my article 3 months ago to a journal. Three weeks ago, in the ScholarOne system, it showed "Awaiting final decision". After one week, I wrote to the Managing Editor enquiring about the status of my article, and he told me that he had received the needed reviews, and he is only waiting for the word of the Editor-in-Chief before he communicates the final decision to me. It has been three weeks since then. Do Managing editors communicate the negative outcome of a review immediately to authors or the rejection also comes from the EiC? I read somewhere that the EiC is only consulted to make Acceptance related decisions, but ME can send immediately the rejection decision. Do you think this is the case? Thank you so much.

1 Answer to this question

Decision making processes may vary across journals, but generally speaking, for papers that are sent out for review, the final decision is usually taken by the EiC. The ME or AE (Associate Editor) can only make a recommendation to the EiC, but the decision can be communicated only after the EiC approves, irrespective of whether it is an acceptance, rejection, or a revise-and-resubmit. What you have heard might be true for desk rejections, that is, for desk rejections or rejection without peer review, the EiC’s approval is not always required. Since your paper has been peer reviewed, whatever the outcome, you will be informed only after the EiC’s approval.