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I wonder if anyone has any answers to this? I am quite worried! I submitted my manuscript to a top international relations journal and it went through the usual admin checks and one day went to 'awaiting referee selection'. The next day it went to 'awaiting decision'!

I wonder if they made an error and decided to now make an editorial decision instead of sending it out for review? It seems to have skipped 'awaiting referee assignment' -> 'awaiting referee scores'.

Any info would be most helpful! Thank you!

marked as duplicate by aeismail publications Apr 19 '18 at 13:26

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    I don't think this is a duplicate question. I searched thoroughly without finding a satisfactory question (or answer) like mine. – MHL Apr 19 '18 at 17:27
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It means nothing. These status should not be taken seriously. Just give it some time; either you will get a decision or it will go for the review process.

It it is desk reject, then reviewer means the editor herself. If it is not a desk reject, then it will surely go to the external peer-reviewers for review.

Further, if you are thinking of sending an email to them, then I would say, don't. Wait! It is not late yet. Just ignore your paper for few months (of course, depends on your fields.).

  • Thank you. No intentions of emailing them at this stage! – MHL Apr 19 '18 at 17:24
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It means the editor is making a decision without inviting reviewers. This is not a good sign. The most likely result is a desk rejection. The next most likely result is a revise decision because something's wrong with your submission, e.g. you forgot to submit a crucial figure, the paper's English is poor, and so on.

This is not likely to be an error. The editorial management systems I'm familiar with don't easily let you make decisions unless a review has been received. If it is an error, it'll be reversed soon enough, since the editor-in-chief is likely to want to glance at the reviews before making a final decision.

  • Thank you for your info I was suspiciously pessimistic as well when it went from 'referee selection' to 'awaiting decision'. Ah well! – MHL Apr 19 '18 at 17:25

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