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I submitted a manuscript to a journal, but due to some issue with that I asked the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editor to withdraw the manuscript from further consideration. Despite several emails, they are not still responding me nor ended the process.

Now, what should I do? Can I submit the manuscript to another journal?

  • 2
    May the journal be a predatory one? – Massimo Ortolano Jun 11 at 5:50
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    You do not ask for withdrawal. You inform the journal that you are withdrawing the manuscript. (Assuming this is before you have signed the copyright agreement.) – Roland Jun 11 at 11:07
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    But you should of course apologize for the inconvenience. – Roland Jun 11 at 11:52
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    @ScottSeidman Waiting forever clearly isn't practical – user2768 Jun 11 at 14:26
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    @ScottSeidman Retraction is for published manuscripts. Withdrawal is before publication. You still own all rights to your manuscripts at this stage. – Roland Jun 11 at 15:28
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what should I do?

Send another email stating that you will consider the article retracted if you do not receive a response within one week.

Can I submit the manuscript to another journal?

Yes, after one week.


Responses to comments:

I would likely do this but I am not convinced that it precludes troubles. Imagine the same referee getting it twice. It would be confusing at least. Just to mention one case.

Referees regularly receive manuscripts twice, for instance, when a manuscript is rejected. Admittedly, this situation is different, since the reviewer may not have been notified of rejection. However, such a reviewer will likely assume that the paper has been rejected. Even if they don't, they will likely contact the editor, who will be able to promptly deal with the situation. This could even be pre-empted, for example, an unacknowledged retraction could be explained in a covering letter.

[this] does not avoid...issues such as when the first journal and second journal both publish it...For all you know, the author may ALREADY have assigned copyright to the first journal.

From the question I assume copyright hasn't been assigned nor is the manuscript camera-ready.

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    @Alchimista Edited to respond – user2768 Jun 11 at 12:13
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    This seems arbitrary, and does not avoid any issues such as when the first journal and second journal both publish it. Wishing problems away is usually a poor approach. – Scott Seidman Jun 11 at 13:58
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    @ScottSeidman From the OP's question I assume copyright hasn't been assigned nor is the manuscript camera-ready. – user2768 Jun 11 at 14:22
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    If you still hold copyright you can pretty much do as you please. It is yours. But it is probably worth sending a retraction notice by registered postal mail with a return receipt. Then you know your request/demand has been seen. (Works in US, at least.) – Buffy Jun 11 at 14:26
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    @ScottSeidman You have to give a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, reasonable is undefined. Is it one day, two days, five, ...? – user2768 Jun 11 at 17:54
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Just to add to the answer from @user2768: when you submit the manuscript to another journal, mention in your cover letter what happened with the previous submission (including your one-sided correspondence with the editor). I would write this in as neutral a tone as possible; the point is not to hurl accusations at the editor of the first journal, but to avoid any appearance of deception on your part in the eyes of the second editor.

It's impossible to say in general that this will not be an obstacle to your second submission. As an associate editor myself, I believe it should not, but this kind of thing would definitely be looked at by the editor-in-chief.

  • Great point! (+1). One more question: Can such a statement cause some problem, by the way? – Eilia Jun 11 at 15:18
  • That is the point. Somehow you should have a receipt of your retraction statement. Clearly you will be on the right side, but you need to assure that the second editor will stand on your side. With no clear communication, the first submission might be further handled resulting, to the people unaware, as a double submission. Surely what is good in this story is that a publication from the first journal is impossible, as for there is not copyright agreement nor camera ready proof. @Eilia – Alchimista Jun 12 at 10:27

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