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Following the journals' protocol, I have sent a pre-submission enquiry to a few journals regarding a manuscript, and have received answers rather quickly (max 1 week). I have always waited for an answer before enquiring from the next journal. Now, I have waited for over a month for a reply from a journal. I have already asked once from an editorial assistant (direct enquiries are not available) whether there is a hiccup in the process that I should be aware of, but she told me that she has not yet received an answer from the editor and will inform me as soon as she has some information.

Now, this waiting period is getting close to the number of days the journal reports as their average number of days to first decision for reviewed manuscripts. It seems a bit unusual that a pre-submission enquiry would take this long to process, as other journals have been rather swift in their decision-making. Is there something I can do? I do not wish to bother the editorial assistant again, but this is a difficult situation for me as I am expected to have this published sooner rather than later for my PhD funding.

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    Are all the answers you received negative? Is it important to publish in this particular journal? – wimi Jan 9 at 7:54
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    So it’s getting close to the average - then wait until it gets close to the maximum... – Solar Mike Jan 9 at 8:24
  • Universities just opened. As fiverings84 also mentioned below, people were on holiday break and mood. Lots of partying in December. Also, the established editor can be on many travels. It is not easy for an editor to evaluate long wound manuscripts which they do in their spare time aside from their work and lectures. – Mugé Jan 9 at 14:22
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Keep in mind that many faculty members (like myself) are still on Holiday Break and may not be checking e-mail as often as they would if the semester was in session.

That being said: I would wait until January 21st (which is typically the latest date for a semester to start) and reach out to the editor again (politely, of course).

If you still do not hear anything back, I see no problem in moving onto the next journal. After all, if you do not hear anything back, is this the type of journal you would actually like to submit your manuscript to? It doesn't give me confidence that the journal's review timeline is much better.

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