I have submitted my paper to a journal. I found out the journal is not as good as I expected, so I dropped an email to the editorial office two days after submission that I want to withdraw my paper. A week has passed since I dropped an email and I have not been answered and the paper has not been removed from the journal.

I want to submit the paper to another journal asap, but I am not sure that is polite behaviour; I think I should wait for the response of the journal. On the other hand, I was wondering what I should do if they don't respond to my mail.

  • "escalate" to a phone call? If not, send a fax/registered mail and then you are good to go with the second journal, you can prove you asked removal of the paper.
    – EarlGrey
    Nov 5, 2021 at 13:00
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    What do you mean "has not been removed"? Has it been published? Did you give them copyright already? How long as this been going on?
    – Buffy
    Nov 5, 2021 at 13:13
  • @Buffy : I asked the journal to withdraw my paper, but they have not removed the paper from their website. I submitted the paper 10 days ago.
    – Adam
    Nov 5, 2021 at 13:24
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    What about copyright? Did you assign it to them or not.
    – Buffy
    Nov 5, 2021 at 13:55
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    In order to publish a paper, a journal needs to hold copyright or at least a perpetual license from the holder. If you haven't signed anything then the paper is yours. I don't understand what you mean by "has not been removed from the journal". Is it visible to the public?
    – Buffy
    Nov 5, 2021 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


From the comments it seems that the paper has not yet been published and that you have not yet assigned them (given them) copyrights or license to the paper. You need to sign something for that to happen. Being "in their system" but not publicly visible means nothing.

If you have notified them properly, the paper is yours to do with as you please. They apparently have no right to publish it after your notice. If the journal is disreputable, however, they might want to send you a bill for the efforts they have undertaken. I doubt that you need to pay it, since you don't have a contract to do so.

An email to the appropriate person is notice enough.

But, take more care in the future. Buyer's remorse isn't very flattering in these cases. "Sheessh, I bought the Ferrari, but now I wish I'd bought the Lambo."

  • Thanks for your answer.
    – Adam
    Nov 5, 2021 at 14:09

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