We have submitted a paper to an Elsevier Journal and now I want to know how much time each stage in article lifecycle take?

There is an article in Elsevier site which describes different status of a paper from submission to publication:

  1. Submitted to Journal
  2. Editor Invited (Conditional - this step may not occurs)
  3. With Editor
  4. Under Review
  5. Required Reviews Complete
  6. Decision in Process
  7. Completed – Accept

It also noted that:

Please Note: Most journals aim to communicate decisions to authors within four months of the start of the review process. There are a number of factors that may influence the actual time taken, most notably the availability and responsiveness of the article's referees. In consequence, peer review times do vary per journal. During the peer review process your article will show a status of ‘Under Review’.

But our paper status is Technical Check In Progress. this status is not mentioned in Elsevier site! I'm confused about this statuses. and now after 40 days the status is still in that stage. I want an estimation about time of this steps to see if I should be concern or not.

  • @EnergyNumbers The stage Technical Check In Progress is not mentioned in elsevier site! that's the confusing part. and now after 40 days the status is still in that stage. I want an estimation about time of this steps to see if I should be concern or not
    – sajjadG
    Sep 6, 2013 at 12:17
  • 1
    @sajjadG write to the editor, ask him!
    – F'x
    Sep 6, 2013 at 12:22
  • @EnergyNumbers yes, Thanks. I edited my post.
    – sajjadG
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:25
  • 3
    There is no reasonable field-independent answer to this question. Even within a field, the time for processing different papers at the same journal can vary a lot. Sep 8, 2013 at 4:25
  • Voting to close for what David Ketchesn said. The only thing that we can answer here is that Technical Check in Progress should not take 40 days.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Sep 16, 2015 at 15:06

6 Answers 6


Each electronic manuscript handling system typically has a set time frame for each part of the review-revisions process. The systems have default values which, I would assume, are what most journals use. It is, however, possible to custom make the different time periods for each part of the process.

1.Submitted to Journal: This usually does not involve a lot of time and a reasonable time frame might be 5-10 days depending on factors such as workload, time of year etc. The step might involve inspection of the quality of the submitted material, but not necessarily.

2.Editor Invited (Conditional - this step may not occur): This may again be another 5-10 days and may be affected by workload etc.

3.With Editor: The main problem that occurs here is difficulty to assign reviewers. The editor may also be overloaded with work. The time frame is likely something like 3 weeks but will vary.

4.Under Review: Each journal has a time frame and 3 weeks is what I am accustomed to in my field. Reviewers that accept reviews and never return them is a problem here. How quickly the editor tries to assign other reviewers to speed up the process will vary from person to person and journal to journal.

5.Required Reviews Complete: I am not sure if you actually mean revisions here because typically the author gets about 3-6 weeks to revise the manuscript. This is another point where delays can occur but they are self-inflicted.

6.Decision in Process: The decision process may require some time since the editor needs to read the revised manuscript and the revisions/rebuttal from the author to make a decision. In many cases there is cause for another round of reviews which would loop back to 4 and 5.

7.Completed – Accept: 7 could be 6 if the manuscript gets accepted after one round (rare in many circumstances).

Once accepted, the manuscript goes to copy editing and type-setting. This may be a quick process depending on the resources provided by the publisher. Journals using LaTeX have the advantage of having print ready proofs basically at the turn of a switch.

To sum up. Each of these steps can take various amounts of time depending on the working conditions at the journal as well as the expedience of reviewers and authors. I think the time frames I have outlined are reasonable but that does not mean all journals will be that quick (or slow, depending on your view).

  • 8
    This is all very field-specific. Some of these numbers are way off for my field. Sep 8, 2013 at 4:24
  • 2
    @DavidKetcheson - I agree, some of these are one day for my field, and some of them are longer. I don't think its possible to get a field-agnostic, or even journal-agnostic answer to this question.
    – Fomite
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:54
  • 1
    Could you please list some of the journals these statistics include? Is Pattern Recognition Letters one of them?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Jul 17, 2017 at 8:11
  • @Peter Jansson: when a paper spend 3 days at the status of "with editor" at Elsevier and gets "under review" after that, does it mean that the editor has been successful to invite enough number of reviewers in 3 days, and they have accepted to review the manuscript? I mean, at which stage these times are counted: 1. the time that is taken to select reviewers, 2. the time that is given the reviewers to decide to review the paper 3. the time that a reviewer refuse to review the paper and journal search to find another available reviewer? It shows "with editor" at these stages or "under review"?
    – m123
    Sep 28 at 17:10
  • 1
    @m123 Yes I would say so but I do not know the details of the Elsevier system and if or how much an individual journals can customize their flow. Sep 28 at 17:17

I happened to have recently gone through most of this process with EES in the past few months and can provide my actual timeline (but not done yet!), for what it's worth:

  1. Submitted to Journal: Day 0

  2. Editor Invited (Conditional - this step may not occur): N/A

  3. With Editor: Day 2

  4. Under Review: Day 14

  5. Required Reviews Complete: Day 44, revisions were then submitted back to EES 14 days later (Day 58).

  6. With Editor: Day 60

  7. Under Review: Day 65

  8. Required Reviews Completed: Day 73

  9. Decision (Accepted): Day 75

  10. Final Disposition: Day 76

  11. Sent to/Received by Elsevier: Day 76

  12. Publishing agreement/Offprint order/Color figures forms sent: Day 80

  13. Proofs Available: Day 81

Once the last few steps are complete, I'll add these, but this covers most of the process. Perhaps if others do the same, a statistical estimate can be made.

  • 2
    That is so cool a smooth process towards a publication! Congrats! And of course +1 for your answer.
    – Yes
    Nov 16, 2018 at 19:43

Technical Check In Progress refers to the Technical screening which is explained at:


To solve the problem of peer reviewers and Editors being overloaded with manuscripts which contain many ‘technical’ problems such as poor English, Elsevier introduced a Technical Screening process for all journal submissions

This process shouldn't take too long. 40 days sounds too much to me and you may want to email the editor asking for an update on the status of your paper.

UPDATE: I just realised from your profile that you are Iranian. The delay might also be caused by the sanctions implemented by Elsevier against your compatriots.



A shame, I would say.

  • 1
    your username seems like boycottElsevier! This is not a new issue. The sanction against Iran banned Iranian publication in IEEE before but that was solved and this is new. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_against_Iranian_scientists I wonder if this just applies to Elsevier and not IEEE?
    – sajjadG
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:50
  • 1
    @sajjadG I see. Indeed, that was my intention at choosing this username. There is a huge, but paradoxically not too influential, movement called "boycott Elsevier". One of the pioneers of this is Tim Gowers. Elsevier's journals are among the most expensive journals which creates controversy since they only administrate the publications. This thing about sanctioning countries goes against the roots of science. I don't know about the status of the problem with IEEE. Sep 6, 2013 at 14:55
  • 1
    There's a question regarding Elsevier's implementation of the sanctions. Sep 6, 2013 at 15:58
  • 2
    @BoyCodElsevier I asked them about the sanction and they said it's not the reason. The sanction affects US editors and Elsevier has Editors all over the world.
    – sajjadG
    Sep 24, 2013 at 14:47
  • 1
    A shame, Indeed!
    – user96189
    Jul 20, 2018 at 6:19

I found this link that describes The Life of an Elsevier Editorial System Manuscript. I think it may be useful to others. It is a real-life report of the editorial process from the beginning to end.

(Answer edited to increase its length in an attempt to avoid future vandalism attempts.)


Most of the time will be spent “under review”. That's the limiting step: sending the paper to reviewers, and waiting for them to review it. In some cases, the paper might also take some time before that (“with editor”), if the editor has a hard time finding willing reviewers.


I have many publication in peer review journals and I would share my experience with manuscript submission. When the manuscript is within the scope and of high quality, one should not always expect that an Editor would be willing to pass it to review. There are many reasons. It is most likely that an Editor would not challenge other recognized authors and, in order to avoid complications, he/she would not take a responsibility to publish it. So, if you receive later something like "the topic is too broad or too narrow and the Editorial Board has decided to reject your submission", - do not be surprised. The most of Editors are fair enough, but sometimes strange thins may happen.

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