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A major revision was submitted to a journal. After some days, the status changed to 'awaiting reviewer scores', but there is also the status 'awaiting decision' right next to it. How should this double status be interpreted? Is the revised manuscript with the editor or reviewers, or both?

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  • Not an answer to your question: Why does it matter? Sep 6, 2021 at 19:52
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    First time I've heard of a manuscript with two concurrent statuses. Can you share a screenshot of the EMS?
    – Allure
    Sep 7, 2021 at 0:31
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    What would you do with the answer to this question? Sep 7, 2021 at 2:33
  • It's the first time I have seen it as well. I cannot share a screenshot unfortunately. No obvious way to do that and also I would not feel comfortable. For those who ask why it matters and what I would do with the answer: Fair questions. This paper is extremely important for my career and it is difficult to not obsess about trying to second-guess what happens. The rational thing would be to just wait. But this status is mind boggling and I cannot help trying to interpret what it means.
    – John
    Sep 22, 2021 at 1:56

2 Answers 2

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Here is a possible interpretation: the paper might have received the comments of all of its reviewers. So, its status is "Awaiting Decision". But the editor, for some reason, e.g., conflicting opinions in those comments, has sent the paper to another reviewer. Thus, the status also reflects "Awaiting Reviewer Scores".

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  • Thanks for sharing your interpretation, it sounds plausible - generally speaking. In this particular case, I believe it is not so likely since the statuses seem to have appeared only a few days after submission and both at the same time.
    – John
    Sep 22, 2021 at 1:50
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Nobody here can tell you what is happening with your paper. However, I will give a possible interpretation that is slightly different to @Robotocist:

Often people decline invitations to review papers. If an editor wants, say, two reviews for a paper, they may initially invite four or five referees. Once two have accepted they will typically cancel the other invitations. However, if they are too late to do so, they can end up with more reviewers than they really need. The system will continue to show "Awaiting reviewer scores" until all reviewers have submitted their reports.

Meanwhile, the editorial management system will be configured to automatically mark the paper as 'ready for decision' once the minimum number of reviews has been submitted. However, it will still recognise that not all the reviewers who accepted have submitted a report. It is up to the editor to decide what to do - they may choose to make a decision based on the information they have, or wait for the additional report(s).

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do except wait, and you should not take this as providing any information (positive or negative) about the eventual outcome of the review process.

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  • Thanks for this suggestion! The paper is a 'revise and resubmit' (major revision) so I think it would only go back to the reviewers that already read it (max 3). Also, the statuses appeared very shortly after submission so I would be surprised if the reviewers had time to read and comment so fast. But maybe you are on to something with indicating that both statuses can be chosen to make the administration more easy. For example, maybe this gives the editor more flexibility in deciding whether to send the paper out again or whether to make the decision without sending back to reviewers...?
    – John
    Sep 22, 2021 at 1:53

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