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I am a 2nd year PhD student (starting my third year soon). For the past 7 months, I've been struggling with finding an appropriate journal for my (hopefully) first article. I had to deal with many journal desk-rejections, in which 90% of those were out-scope rejections. However, one journal suggested that we need to improve the paper. Of course, we followed the advice (+1 month on the same manuscript).

Now a journal has accepted to review our paper, and here are the status of the paper:

  • "Under review" 43 days
  • "Ready for Decision" 6 days
  • "Decision Pending" 13 Days

I don't know if I should send the Editorial Team a polite reminder, because I have read many similar threads that say I should wait a little longer and I know 43 days of review is fast, but considering my circumstances (the context that I've described earlier), I feel that I've wasted a lot of time on this one project.

Thank you for your suggestions. Bests,

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I think there is little reason to write. They haven't lost your paper behind a filing cabinet somewhere. They are likely busy, maybe due to the time of year or pending deadlines on publication of other issues. Having to respond will just add to their load.

It is frustrating, I know, when you have a lot riding on a paper, but there is no need to panic. You can and should both relax a bit and also work a bit more on your research.

Two weeks in the queue isn't very long, really. It may even be that a key person in the decision process is off on a late vacation.

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  • On the other hand, once I was waiting for the editor to make a decision (the review came back from the referee 2 weeks before), and I wrote a short email asking if everything was fine (from my experience with that journal, it takes about a day to hear from the editor after the referees reply). My paper was accepted within a day. Short version : it depends on the journal, for some 2 weeks is a long time to reply, for other it might not be. – Adam Aug 22 '18 at 18:16
  • I know, I hope this frustration journey will end by accepting the paper as well, in that case, it totally worth it. Thank you for the feedback. – U. User Aug 22 '18 at 20:48
  • @Adam, based on what OP has described, I would not recommend sending a reminder before one month from "Decision pending". The article is unlikely to be accepted on the first round, and it's best for OP not to give the editor an early sense that they are impatient authors. In my field, I don't send any reminders until at least 3 months have passed since my submission (or resubmission); a 3-4 month delay is considered quite normal. (Yes, I know; it is terrible what we've come to expect as normal. :-( ) – Tripartio Aug 23 '18 at 20:03
  • @Buffy of course it is to the OP to figure this out depending on his field and journal. In physics, at least in the journal I publish in, I usually get a reply after a few days. I understood *decision pending" as "we got all referees' reports", but I guess you're right that it could mean that the editor is pondering his reply for a few month (!). (I'm new to academia stack exchange, and I find it quite confusing that the field is usually not given, as the answers seems to depend quite a lot on the discipline. ) – Adam Aug 23 '18 at 20:20
  • @Adam, it is always ok here to ask the OP for clarifications if needed before answering. Field of study and country are often not stated, but important. We are a worldwide community here. Welcome to the party. – Buffy Aug 23 '18 at 20:24

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