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Is it normal for a journal submission to show “With Editor” for more than forty days?

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Short answer: yes

Longer answer: there is probably a line of papers before you, so takes a while before the editor sees your paper. Remember, that editors typically do this as volunteer work, so they have to fit this next to their normal duties. Then they need to find reviewers. They have to give them time to agree to review or not. When not they need to find another reviewer. All that adds up.

My advice: just forget about that paper until you hear from the journal and instead focus on your next paper.

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    Good answer. One might add "even more so in the middle of a pandemic". From what I've heard, it's harder to find reviewers than ever. Mar 1, 2021 at 8:41

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