I am in the process of sending the response to reviews to a journal. It looks like it will take some days for the revision. In the reviews, the associate editor had commented the following

Finally, I would appreciate if you could submit your revised paper by Jan 12, 2018. If you cannot meet this deadline please contact us ([email protected]) to request an extension, otherwise your paper may be withdrawn.

I was wondering if it was OK to write to them asking for an extension or should I somehow submit the revision by Jan 12?

  • 12
    The answer is literally written in those three lines you quoted... Jan 10, 2018 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


Ask for an extension. This is quite common in case more extensive changes/analyses need to be done.

Submitting a subpar version would waste their and their reviewers’ time, and may even end in a desk rejection for you.

When asking for an extension, shortly explain why you need more time (ideally, related to the reviews you got – show them you are working on the paper), and make a good estimate on when you will be able to resubmit. You don’t want to ask for several extensions during the same round.

  • 4
    I agree strongly with almost all of this, but don't really think you need much in the way of an explanation. Apologizing for being busy really should be enough. Definitely make your new estimate an accurate one though! Jan 10, 2018 at 21:58

You quote the associate editor specifically asking you to request an extension, so it’s a bit weird that you’re not taking them at their word. What I take from the wording is that not submitting by Jan 12 would cause them inconvenience, and you should take that into account in how much effort you make trying to finish it by Jan 12, but they will accommodate those who request an extension. If you don’t keep in touch with them, they won’t know whether you’re still working on it, and they may withdraw your paper if you don’t keep them apprised of its status.


The associate editor specifically said you can request an extension, so absolutely feel free to do so. There is usually no harm with such a request and it will not affect the future decision; the journal wants to publish your paper or they’d have given a reject decision. It’s really easy for the desk editor to extend the deadline – just modify a box in the editorial management system. In fact it’s possible the desk editor will simply grant the request without checking with the editorial board.

For context, journals usually give these deadlines because they want to keep the author thinking about the manuscript, and are hoping for a timely revision. The last line about your paper possibly being withdrawn is because there are authors who, after a revise decision, decide not to revise their paper but do not inform the journal. If you exceed the deadline your submission gets marked as inactive. When the journal decides to do spring cleaning and remove all the inactive submissions, that’s when your submission might be withdrawn.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .