I have sent my manuscript to a professor of math about one month ago. This manuscript was written according to his encouragement for a joint research work. He told me that send him what I have done from my side, and then he will add additional materials from his own side. I want to send a tracking email about the status of that. Should I do that or I must wait for his reply?

  • Do you really mean "tracking email"? Like these?: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/82869/… Never, ever use these.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jul 15, 2020 at 18:54
  • 1
    If by tracking email you mean an email sends you a notification when the recipient opens it, then it's probably a bad idea.
    – GoodDeeds
    Jul 15, 2020 at 18:55
  • Can you elaborate on the history? When did he tell you that, when was your last communication about it, how much does the joint work date back?
    – user151413
    Jul 15, 2020 at 19:17
  • 1
    The academic clock can run slow. Be aware.
    – Buffy
    Jul 15, 2020 at 20:06
  • 1
    @GEdgar True, but I have yet to find someone that goes into hibernation for three months like a bear and does not even answer e-mails. Jul 16, 2020 at 13:03

2 Answers 2


"I want to send an email email asking him for an update about the status of that. Should I do that or I must wait for his reply?"

Absolutely. Why? Because it has been 1 month and you have not received any communication from him yet. Usually after waiting a full 7 days, it is not inappropriate to send a follow-up email.

"How much is an average time of waiting to recieve a reply from Professional co-author?"

It varies. Some people reply the same day, some the same hour, but it's also not uncommon for people to take a month or two to reply.

Usually it is not inappropriate to ask for an update 7 days after the first email. Another one after another 7 days can also often be considered okay. It's when you send more than 2 follow-up emails, or when you do not wait ~7 days between them, that it might start to be seen as "nagging", but even then that's not always the case. Please send him a follow-up email and ask us what to do if you still have problems after that. My guess is that he'll reply (since he asked you for the manuscript).

  • 2
    It should read "the vast majority take a month or three" Jul 16, 2020 at 11:19

When communication becomes difficult, when human sensitivity comes into play, don't write mail after mail: call your collaborator by phone. Maybe on phone you can get them to make a credible promise; maybe they will make you understand how overburdened they are right now; maybe they will enjoy a little chat with you; hopefully, your relation with them will grow through direct conversation.

  • Calling collaborators on the phone without any prior arrangement or emergency seems horribly intrusive to me.
    – Arno
    Jul 16, 2020 at 13:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .