Q: Why does the status of my manuscript keep changing to Reviewers Assigned?
I submitted my manuscript to a Springer journal in December 2020. However, almost every few days, the status keeps changing to Reviewers Assigned. Can I know why?
This typically happens because the Associate/Managing Editor (AE/ME) is finding it challenging getting a fix on the peer reviewers for your manuscript. They must be sending it to peer reviewers, who must first be accepting the review request and then declining it for various reasons – such as conflict of interest (CoI) and clash with other projects – or declining it straightaway. This in turn may be happening because reviewers may be returning to work after the holiday season and then determining their latest priorities. Anyway, the AE/ME should hopefully soon find the requisite reviewers for your manuscript and the review should commence. In case of a further delay though, you may write to them by the end of the month seeking to understand your alternatives.
To understand this and other journal status updates, you may find this handbook useful: A guide to understanding journal statuses
For a collection of email templates for communicating with the journal in various scenarios, you may find this handbook useful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal
Both handbooks are available from R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for various aspects of a researcher’s work, including writing, submission, publication, and even research promotion. What’s better, the programs/courses are available for free for a trial period, so do check them out.
For now though, all the best in seeing movement on your manuscript!