Should I email the editor of a journal to ask for a final decision on an article when I know that all reviewers' comments were submitted weeks ago? The online article submission interface shows me that all reviewers' comments are submitted.

I'm applying for jobs in a few weeks, and I'd like to be able to add an R&R to my CV if possible.

If writing to the editor is appropriate, what can I say?

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    Probably not the point, but: how do you know the paper will not be accepted outright? Or is that not common in your field? – Pete L. Clark Aug 6 '18 at 18:08
  • +1 @PeteL.Clark I like your question. (But actually it's just not common in my field) – Dr. Beeblebrox Aug 6 '18 at 18:11
  • Are you sure that all reviewers' comments are submitted? I'd be surprised if so since to my knowledge that's usually confidential, and the system only shows required reviews complete. That could mean there're more reviews still pending. – Allure Aug 6 '18 at 20:29

Normally I would advise against that. But in this case, you could try. Keep it short, keep it polite, add the document number for your submission so the editor can quickly look your submission up. Something along the line of:

Dear editor,

I submitted an article to your journal (nr XZ000038d). I'm applying for jobs in a few weeks, and I'd like to be able to add an R&R to my CV if possible. I saw that all reviews are in, and I wondered if it would be possible to get a decision.


Dr. Beeblebrox

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Make sure you wait at least 3-4 weeks if you do choose to write, so you're sure the Editor is not planning to ask another referee (this can happen if your paper has both positive and negative reviews).

Be polite; asking for a "final decision" sounds too blunt, and is best avoided. Also, there is no need to remind the Editor that the reviews are done, they know that already. Something along the lines of "I would be grateful for any updates on the status of my submission" should be adequate.

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You can ask, of course, but it may not be possible to give you a definite answer. In fact, it is easier for them to give you a negative answer if they have sufficient backlog, so don't press the case too hard. But mentioning your job search should be fine.

A positive answer, however, may take them more work as a number of people could be involved in the decision and they might not have an easy process in place to speed up decisions.

Express your need, not your demands.

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