Q: Why has my paper to Nature Physics not been assigned to an editor even one week after submission?
Here are the various possibilities:
- Nature Physics is a prestigious journal, regularly eliciting a large number of submissions. So, it would take time for the editor to get to your submission.
- Apart from new submissions, which are quite plentiful for a journal such as Nature Physics, the editor also has to handle manuscripts in other stages of publication, ranging from review and revision to acceptance and final publication.
- Presently, COVID-19 has also presented a set of challenges for journals. Most are prioritizing papers around the disease (due to the urgency of the crisis), with the result that papers in other areas may be getting somewhat lesser priority. Additionally, with many countries in various stages of lockdown, professionals are having to work from home, potentially impacting workflows.
- Apart from the above, there may be other reasons that we may not be privy too.
Given the above scenarios, one week is not too long in the entire publication cycle. You could wait for some more time, perhaps a week or so more, and then maybe write to the editor requesting an update.
For help with understanding journal statuses and in communicating with the journal editor, you may also go through the following resources:
- Why is my paper not assigned to an editor even a month after submission?
- Keep calm and wait: A guide to understanding journal statuses [Handbook]
- How to communicate with the journal editor
All the best for the next steps!