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I'm pondering on how much time I should plan to finalize a paper that has received a 'revise and resubmit' letter from the journal editor.

I know that I should return it as soon as possible. However, given that I have other work to do I would like to know if there's an unwritten rule on how long should I take to resubmit.

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2 Answers 2

Many editors report the deadline in their decision letter. However, I have seen some decision letters without a deadline.

Please note that most submission systems provide a Due On date. See this screenshot from Manuscript Central:

Manuscript Central

If there is no indication regarding a deadline either in the letter, or in the submission system (or the journal website), the best for you would be to contact the handling editor.

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Times vary. In my field three weeks for minor and six weeks for major revisions seems common. If the journal does not provide any general guidelines on this one would hope that the editor would do so. From your question, I take it neither has occurred. You can then approach the problem by trying to assess how much time you need (given other chores etc.) and then contact the editor asking if your estimated time plus a week or some smaller buffer would be acceptable. That way you gain a deadline against which to work and remove possibly annoying reminders.

So I will not attempt to provide a fixed time for your specific case since what is customary varies both between disciplines and between journals but trying to get a reasonable time frame to which you can commit should be a good step to take.

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