I submitted my manuscript to one of the journal of frontiers groups, It has been 3 months now since the submission, in the first round of the peer review process, One reviewer gave me minor revision and the second reviewer asked me to do some extensive revision in my manuscript, I complied with the both reviewers and gave them the best answers i could, to the questions raised by them and resubmitted revised version of my manuscript but after the first round, one reviewer endorsed my manuscript for the publication but the second reviewer withdrew himself from the peer review process and his status shows as an inactive in the interactive review forum.

I mailed the editor and ask him how the editorial staff will handle my manuscript but didn’t get any response him.

Has anyone here suffered with a similar dilemma, what usually happens in situations like these, frontiers guidelines mention that they need endorsement from 2 reviewers in order for editor to make a final decision.

What do editors do in such a situation, do they invite another reviewer?

  • Asking the editor is the only way to know. Editors are people who make their own decisions (based on the policies outlined by the journal). They might look for an additional reviewer, review the paper themselves, reject the paper, accept it, anything is possible depending on what the reviewers wrote (which you may or may not know). I am voting to close this question because only the editor has the answers you need.
    – Louic
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:41
  • 3
    @louic wouldn't your comment make a good answer for this question instead of voting to close the question? Others might face the same issue in the future.
    – The Hiary
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:45
  • 1
    @louic, I have asked the editor, if you had read the whole thing then you would have known where i was going with this instead of voting to close the questions, I sent an email to the editor but didn't get response from him. and The Hairy is right someone else can face a similar situation and they would wanna know what happens, as i tried to find similar content in the forum before asking this question
    – Basra
    Jun 29, 2018 at 17:00
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    @Basra. I did read the whole thing (obviously). If this question is not "opinion based" it is surely a duplicate, hence no answer but my vote to close stands. You should be happy I took the trouble to "answer" in my comment before voting to close, with a clear reason given.
    – Louic
    Jun 29, 2018 at 21:35
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    You may not have had a response from the editor, but that is where the response needs to come from... As anyone else responding is just opinion...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 29, 2018 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


The two main possibilities are:

  1. Find another reviewer.
  2. Make a decision.

If the editor is sufficiently familiar with the field to check your revision himself, then he might go for #2. Otherwise (or if the journal's policies are inflexible) you might be stuck with #1 and have to wait for another round of reviews.


I have experienced this situation once. The editor decided to find a new reviewer resulting in a new first review after a first found of major revision and two satisfied reviewers.

Basically, the process started all over again, out of sight of the two reviewers who were already satisfied. If I would have been one of the reviewers, I would object to new requests for revisions which I haven’t even seen.

This wonders me: why do reviewers deliberately withdraw themselves, after a first found, knowing that this often will slow down and complicate the process?

  • 3
    Two possible reasons for withdrawing from the review process as a reviewer: (1) Conflict of interests: After completion of the first review, one of the authors has applied to a position at the reviewer's university (or vice versa), or both have become members in a joint project. (2) Lack of time (in particular in those fields where reviewing is a rather time-consuming activity, such as maths): The revised version was finished at a time where the reviewer was sure he wouldn't finish the second review within a couple of months (due to teaching, project deadlines, health problems, whatever).
    – Uwe
    Jun 30, 2018 at 12:33

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