Q: Why has the status not changed from 'Complete checklist'?
I submitted a manuscript to a chemical journal. Since the submission, the status has remained at 'Complete checklist.' This journal is supposed to inform of acceptance or rejection within two weeks. However, the AE has not been assigned yet. What does this situation mean?
The ‘Complete checklist’ status possibly refers to the internal check by the administrator – to see whether the manuscript fulfills the journal submission requirements. You have not mentioned how long ago you submitted it, but perhaps this check is now complete and the AE assignment is awaited. Perhaps the AE hasn’t yet been assigned because they are busy with other publications or commitments or there is no suitable AE for your manuscript yet. Hopefully, an AE will be assigned shortly. If not, you could write to them seeking an update.
By the way, it’s interesting to note that the journal has mentioned they will inform of an accept or a reject decision within two weeks. That seems extremely short by standard timelines. So, would this be a rapid publication journal? If not, there’s a bigger concern – that this may be a predatory journal. Here’s a useful checklist for you to find out: 10 Point checklist to identify predatory publishers
For a better understanding of what happens after manuscript submission, you may refer to this resource: A journal editor's insight into what happens post manuscript submission
And for mail templates for communicating with the journal, you may find this handbook useful: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal
Hope that helps. And hope there is an update on your manuscript soon. All the best!