I submitted a paper to an Elsevier journal, and the status is "Submitted to Journal". That was a week and a half ago. I know it's not a long time, but I have an additional issue. I just need the article to be "under review" to defend my doctoral thesis. Can I send an email to the editorial board explaining this situation? Would it be wrong to do that?

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    I see a small ethical issue with the nature of this request. Instead, have you discussed with your PhD committee if "Submitted to Journal" would be OK as well? Your eligibility to defend your thesis should not depend on something as arbitrary as whether the editor found some reviewers for your paper, especially in coronavirus times. May 29, 2020 at 6:51
  • Are you sure that the defense requirements mean the journal must list your submission status as "under review"?
    – Kimball
    May 29, 2020 at 16:00
  • Thank you all for your considerations. Unfortunately, my PhD commitee does not accept other status than "under review". I have my thesis ready and I already have the members of the board. I'm just waiting for the status of the paper to defend it. May 30, 2020 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


Pragmatically speaking, you have nothing to lose! I don't think it's wrong, either, as your situation seems unusual. So the clear advice would be to send the email.

However, to maximize the chance that this is effective, I do think you should be clear that this is an extraordinary request. Don't expect or demand that they will be able to grant it, and be sure to thank them for taking the time to consider your email. If you are polite and to the point about what you need, I don't see how anyone could take it wrongly, but there could be some logistical, technical, or policy reason why changing the review status is not possible.

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    Thank you very much for your considerations. I think I will send a very polite email explaining the situation. May 30, 2020 at 22:29

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