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I recently submitted a manuscript for publication, and soon after received a message saying that it was "with Editor".

A few days later, I received a message saying it was "transferred to Associate Editor", and a few days after that "transferred to Subject Editor".

My question is about the different levels/types of editors in this process, not about the acceptance/rejection of manuscripts in general.

What does this mean?

marked as duplicate by scaaahu, Buzz, user3209815, Enthusiastic Engineer, Fomite Jun 28 '18 at 16:48

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This is probably the result of the journal's structure. I would guess that papers in this journal are handled by:

  • Author submits paper (say, on the topic of "simulations of the solar system's formation").
  • Someone (possibly the editor-in-chief, possibly the desk editor, possibly an automated system) assigns the paper to the associate editor with the closest expertise. Odds are the journal only has a few associate editors so at this point it could be quite general, e.g. the associate editor could be an expert in "general relativity" which is not the same as the paper's topic, but is relatively related.
  • The associate editor then assigns a subject editor. The subject editor is also a member of the editorial board but has a more specialized focus. For example the subject editor could be an expert on "planetary science" which is closer to the paper's topic than "general relativity".
  • The subject editor assigns reviewers.

So: nothing to worry about; wait for the process to run its course.

  • Can a desk rejection happen with any editor, or does it have to happen at the editor-in-chief or associate editor level? – iwantmyphd Jun 27 '18 at 3:28
  • 1
    @iwantmyphd most likely yes, anyone can desk reject, but different editors would look at different things, e.g. the publisher (aka. desk editor) would only desk reject the manuscript if it had very obvious problems. The associate editor would look at more general issues, and the subject editor would look at more specialized issues. If the subject editor desk rejects the manuscript, he would still need the associate editor's approval (who would then need the editor-in-chief's approval). – Allure Jun 27 '18 at 3:38

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