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I recently submitted a paper on IEEE TEMC. After a couple of idle days the status went to "With Associate Editor" and after three days to "Under Review". Now the strange thing is that it stayed in this status only for two days returning then to "With Associate Editor" status again. After 7 days it is still in this status. I am really curious about these changes. I find it really difficult to comprehend the procedures. Does anyone had a similar experience? If yes, what should i expect? Is these are signs for rejection? Is anyone familiar with this journal? If yes, what is their processing time?

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You shouldn't read too much into a status change like this.

Papers can move back and forth in the workflow for a number of reasons, including:

  • The handling editor receives an inadequate review and asks the reviewer for more information.
  • The handling editor receives high-quality reviews more rapidly than expected and decides to discard their backup reviewers.
  • The handling editor decides that a reviewer is unresponsive and replaces them.
  • The handling editor adjusts the expected review count.
  • The editor-in-chief corrects an administrative mistake by the handling editor.

None of these really have much to do with the actual response that you will get, only the ugly details of busy volunteers wrangling the contributions of other busy volunteers. In pretty much every case, you cannot affect the process or the outcome and you should not attempt to do so.

My larger recommendation is thus to try to ignore it all and treat every status besides a decision as effectively equivalent.

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