I submitted a manuscript to a Springer journal four days ago. After the system built PDF of the manuscript from the latex and image files, I checked the images but due to my tiredness, I forgot to check references of the manuscript. Unfortunately, I approved the submission upon request of the system. After that I checked and discovered the manuscript reference numbers are substituted with question marks and their system didn't correctly recognize my references from the Latex file.

I emailed the Springer contact information which is available in the menu of their system, but even though I emailed two times requesting for help with this manuscript, they didn't respond. The state of the paper in the system is "pending editor assignment."

What should I do?

  1. Email to Editor-in-Chief of the journal and ask what to do?

  2. Wait and see what will happen? Unfortunately, I am in a hurry to have an answer from a journal because of my university administrative issues. One of the reasons I submitted to this particular journal is its fast average submission to first decision among JCR journals in my field.

  • Your pressing need to have a paper published is not the publisher’s problem, neither is getting them to rush to send you back your paper - you should wait for their standard process.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 5:30
  • @SolarMike, Thank you. Yes, I know and they didn't know I am in a rush. But You know. Do you know how much their standard process takes time?
    – user85361
    Commented Jul 11, 2018 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Email the journal. This is something the publisher should be able to easily solve, since it's simply returning the paper to the author. Worst case scenario, the publisher can return a 'revise' decision and let you fix the problem.

It sounds like you've already done this and didn't receive a response for four days. This isn't particularly long - for example, perhaps the desk editor is on short-term leave and Springer didn't assign someone to cover. I would wait a bit. If you're in a rush you can also email the editor-in-chief; however, you write that the status is "pending editor assignment", which could mean that the editor-in-chief has not seen the paper yet.

  • So, in summary, your suggestion is to wait? for how many days given my rush before email to editor-in-chief?
    – user85361
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 7:38
  • @user85361 I'd wait up to one week before emailing the editor-in-chief. However chances are the publisher will solve this a lot faster than the EiC, simply because they have more spare time (+ this is the kind of thing they're paid to solve). Is there anyone else at all you can contact? If the journal lists other employees of the publisher, I'd email them first.
    – Allure
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 7:42
  • Thank you for your answer. I am in a hurry so I guess I must email to EIC in one or two days. Because this journal average response time is near 3 weeks. I cannot waste one week just for this silly mistake of mine.
    – user85361
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 7:46

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