I submitted an article to Elsevier which even after one week its status is still "submitted to journal" and they didn't give me even the manuscript number. I have several past experiences with this publisher, where they gave me the manuscript number promptly, but this time after one week without even manuscript number seems a little bit odd.

Should I withdraw my article and submit it somewhere else, which probably their process may be faster? The reason why I'm asking this question is that I don't want to waste my time but on the other hand I don't want to make a bad reputation for potential future submissions by withdrawing my article because their journal is pretty famous in my field (computational physics).

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    Have you searched this site for questions about journal workflow? Because a week is not very long to wait. Sep 13, 2018 at 19:43
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    How fast would be fast enough for you?
    – Jon Custer
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:11
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    The editor getting to your paper is part of the workflow. They don't look at every paper the moment it arrives in their inbox. The fact that it exists in their system means it's been received, does it not? Sep 13, 2018 at 21:21
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    @MehrdadYousefi: Allocating a manuscript number is still part of the journal workflow (although it’s not addressed in answer of the linked question). In particular, it still varies widely between fields and journals. In my field (pure mathematics), there are plenty of reputable journals that don’t use a submission number at all (at least in correspondence with the author) — they just refer to the submission by title. Using a submission number is just part of how certain journals choose to organise things, not an immutable part of the process. So I wouldn’t be concerned, in your situation.
    – PLL
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:34
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    I mean, it very well could. Like PLL points out, not every publisher gives a manuscript number so knowing exactly who this is could mean someone knows "Oh yeah, Springer not giving a manuscript number in a week means there's a bug" or "Spring not giving a manuscript number means they are deciding whether to desk reject," etc. Sep 13, 2018 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


One week is not an especially long time. You write that you've had previous experience with this publisher and they gave you a manuscript number promptly, but you didn't write if it's the same journal. Different journals can have different workflows - for example I've seen a journal which processed new submissions once a week, i.e. if you're unfortunate enough to submit your manuscript the day after they process new submissions, you won't get a manuscript number until one week later either.

It's up to you whether or not to withdraw, but I'll say that I've never seen an author withdraw after one week. I have however seen authors write to the journal asking about the status after one week. If you're really concerned, I would do that.

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