I'm writing to ask your advice on the time it normally takes for journals to assign an issue number to accepted manuscripts?

Recently had a manuscript accepted, it is the first one I have published solo, and therefore the first time I have had to handle interactions with publication staff, etc.

My manuscript currently appears as an Advance Article on the journal website, has been archived and the corrected article is due to be published tomorrow (after I followed up). I should mention it is now 4 months since the manuscript was first accepted.

Is this normal?

With regards to issue publication, we are not able to provide a firm estimate regarding the print publication of your article, as a print publication is dependent upon issue assignment and the issue publication date.

Issue assignment is ultimately up to the discretion of the journal’s editor, and articles are assigned to issues on a largely issue-to-issue basis. As your article has not yet been assigned to an issue, we are not able to provide a print publication date.

I kind of assumed that the manuscript would be included in the next issue of the journal (well, it's biweekly, so maybe the one after that, considering that the administration takes some time).

What is your experience of issue assignment?

  • A likely duplicate of academia.stackexchange.com/q/55665/75368
    – Buffy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 19:16
  • 1
    But four months isn't long for a print journal. Both the production process and the decision process (after acceptance) take time. Even page count may be an issue along with providing some balance to the articles in an issue.
    – Buffy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 19:18
  • I've had a journal take several years. I know a journal that publicly says it's more than five years at this point. Apr 19, 2021 at 20:37
  • 1
    Why is this important to you? Once your manuscript is accepted and has been assigned a DOI you can leave worrying about issue numbers to librarians.
    – user9482
    Apr 20, 2021 at 7:23
  • This is how to make a question out of nothing. Beside that you have your first solo. That is a good something, congratulations.
    – Alchimista
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:38

1 Answer 1


I've had articles take over a year to get a final issue and appear in print (after it was already accepted and appearing online). I found that annoying, but I guess it happens.

Often papers are published with an "accepted" and "submitted" date, so you could compare the accepted dates with the issue dates for some recent issues in the journal to get an idea of their backlog. That's a much better measure than any number we give you. I'd only raise the issue with the journal if your paper is waiting an unusual length of time compared to what's typical for that journal.

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