Q: Why did my manuscript's status go directly from 'With Editor' to 'Decision in Process' and has remained so for over two weeks?
My manuscript's status changed from 'With Editor' directly to 'Decision in Process' in a week, and it has remained so for over two weeks. It did not go for peer review. Does that mean desk rejection, or is there a chance that it can still undergo the peer review process? The turnaround time (TAT) for this journal is 2.3 weeks and it is over two weeks now. I haven't received any communication, but can see the 'Decision in Process' status for more than a week.
You seem quite clued in to the journal submission and review process, which is a good thing. :-)
So, yes, such a quick movement from ‘With Editor’ to ‘Decision in Process’ usually means it might be a desk reject. However, what you can hope for is that the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), who makes the final decision on the manuscript, sees things differently from the associate editor (AE), who has made the initial decision. At times, they may also decide that the manuscript might ‘sit’ better with another journal within the same publisher (in case this is a big publisher) and ask you to submit there instead.
You could wait until the TAT is over, and perhaps a few days after that. In case they don’t get back within that time, you could drop them a query seeking an update. If unfortunately, it’s a desk reject, you could of course make some changes (based on any feedback they provide) and submit elsewhere. In case scope match was an issue, keep that in mind for the next journal(s).
To minimize the chances of a desk rejection, for this and future papers, you may also consider our new AI-powered platform, R Pubsure. Through its machine-powered check, you get the opportunity to improve your manuscript until it’s submission-ready. Once this is done, you can also showcase your improved manuscript to a group of editors on the platform, one of whom may consider it for publication in their journal. You may find out more about the platform here: R Pubsure
Hope that helps. For more information on the ‘Decision in Process’ status and journal decision-making, you may go through the following resources: