First, I would like to mention that I saw that there are similar questions about this topic on this site but this one is very specific whose answer I could not find anywhere. The query is as follows.

I had sent a manuscript to a springer electrical Journal, 10 months back. For 3 months, the status showed "With Editor". Then finally it changed to "Under Review". For the past seven months, it is "Under Review". One month back, I had sent a polite enquiry to a person in editorial office about my paper. He replied that he was sorry and he has contacted senior editor to speed up the process. Today, exactly one month has passed since his reply and the status still remains under review. The average time taken for the first decision as mentioned on the official journal website is 3.5 months. My fear is that the article has already taken nearly a year since I had send it and if there is any more delay, I would not be in a position to send it to any other journal because the proposed approach will become old by then. Shall I send another email to the editorial staff, given that I had already sent another email just a month before? What kind of email can be sent in such a situation ?

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    Time for an ultimatum: "Dear person from editorial office, I'd like to inquire again about the decision regarding my manuscript. If a decision can't be made until ... I will be forced to withdraw my manuscript and submit to another journal." or something like that. – Roland Apr 4 '18 at 6:54
  • A related question? academia.stackexchange.com/q/107492/72855 – Solar Mike Apr 4 '18 at 7:18
  • Possible duplicate : academia.stackexchange.com/q/62789/72855 – Solar Mike Apr 4 '18 at 7:20
  • @SolarMike, the first link that you have mentioned is not a duplicate. That is for another paper in a completely different journal. Regarding the second link, that is also not seemingly a duplicate as here I wished to know whether it was correct to send a email and how to write that email, given that I have already sent it a month back. – ShiS Apr 4 '18 at 10:20
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    There are some examples of wording in this answer: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/88355/… – cactus_pardner Apr 4 '18 at 23:40

Yes. The person you contacted in the editorial office is paid to answer queries like yours. It's exactly why the publisher employs them! Feel free to email again, just don't be abusive (they do not directly handling your paper, and they cannot act without the editorial board's approval). I also suggest against threatening to withdraw your paper, because it's likely to be ineffective. At most the editorial office can only forward your message to the handling editor, and they're likely to say "okay, you can withdraw it" especially since they're evidently having trouble finding reviewers.

As for what to write in the email, it's up to you depending on what you want to know. You could ask them to chase the handling editor again. It's also possible they might be willing to tell you more details about the manuscript's status: how many reviewers have been invited, how many reviews have been completed (if any), when further reviews are expected (if there are reviewers who've agreed to review but have not submitted), and so on.

  • Of course I don't want to withdraw the paper and start this procedure all over again in another journal. Is it correct/pertinent to mention that I am completing my M.Tech degree in a short time from now and I would be very grateful if they can expedite the process of peer review – ShiS Apr 4 '18 at 10:16
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    @ShiS The idea behind submitting elsewhere is that even though you might be starting the peer review process from scratch, perhaps the other journal's editors are more energetic and can make a decision faster. There's no way to know beforehand what will happen - perhaps if the editorial office tells you the status of the reviews you'll be able to make a more informed decision. As for mentioning whether you're completing your M.Tech degree, it won't hurt, but it also likely won't help; it's the editorial board that's causing the delays, not the editorial office. – Allure Apr 4 '18 at 10:37
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    There comes a point where you have to pull the manuscript (and put the journal on your personal blacklist). 10 months without communication from the editor (not the editorial office) is past this point in my field. – Roland Apr 4 '18 at 14:12
  • I had sent a polite email as mentioned in the above comments and answers. They have replied saying that they are awaiting a reviewers report and would give a decision as soon as they receive the review. So, finally I at-least got to know the status of my paper. – ShiS Apr 7 '18 at 16:00
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    @Math_Freak The review of the paper took its time, irrespective of my emails in that journal. The comments were not positive, leading to rejection of paper. In case you want to complete your degree, you can send the paper to another journal in your area which takes comparatively lesser time – ShiS Jan 6 at 11:05

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