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Why is the editorial board's approval required for my submission?

My paper has been revised twice. The second time, the reviewer said "Although the article is suitable for publishing, I recommend further review." I then revised the paper and sent to the journal and the paper's status showed "Under review" for more than a month. After that, the status changed to "decision in process" on December 02, 2015. I contacted the journal asking about my paper and the journal responded as follows: "Your revised paper has been recommended for acceptance. Once a paper is recommended, it has to go to the Editorial Board for their final approval - all papers recommended in any given month go at the end of that month to the Editors. The approval process then takes a further four weeks. You will, therefore, receive a formal decision from us by the end of January." I have never heard about editorial board's approval. My editor himself is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Why should my paper be kept on hold for the Editorial board’s approval? Kindly guide me on this.

Most academic journals have an editorial board consisting of some experts in the field that the journal covers. The role of the editorial board in editorial decision making varies from journal to journal. Some journals might require the editorial board’s approval to arrive at a final decision for every submission. In some cases, this might not be the general policy of the journal. However, for some specific papers, the editor might choose to make a decision in consultation with the editorial board. This happens especially when the reviewers have conflicting views and the editor is not sure whose opinion he/she should uphold.

However, in your case, it seems that it is the journal’s policy to send every paper for the editorial board’s approval. Even if your editor is the EIC, if it's the journal's policy, it will have to be followed for every submission. However, do not worry; while this can be a little time consuming, your paper will be reviewed by a committee of experts, which means that the judgment will be more balanced and objective, rather than one person's subjective opinion. 

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