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I submitted an article to a journal last year in July. It took some months for it to be processed and peer reviewer to be assigned.

I received the first decision in March (major revisions). The article went through several rounds of revision. The last exchange I had with the journal editor was a month ago. The editor stated that they would go ahead with publishing the article. I was required to make one last small change after which my article would be sent to typesetting and proofreading.

I revised accordingly and emailed the editor.

Since then, radio silence. 10 days after I sent the latest version of the article, I emailed the editor asking whether it would be possible to receive an official letter of acceptance at this point as I needed it for a deadline at work (the deadline came and went). No response. It has been 20 days since then, and I have heard nothing.

I understand that the editor must be very busy, and I do not want to badger them.

However, I am getting extremely apprehensive given that the issue my article is supposed to appear in is this month's issue and that it usually isn't supposed to take longer than two weeks for typesetting and proofreading, yet I have not heard anything yet.

So, do I contact again with a polite question as to what is going on? Or do I just wait?

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  • It seems to me that you should have received an email of acceptance after you answered the last reviewers'comments, otherwise the publisher would not engage in typesetting and proofing. Did you check your spam mailbox?
    – EarlGrey
    May 31 at 7:42
  • The only form of acceptance I received was the editor stating that they would go ahead with publishing the article and that after the last edit, the article would go to typesetting and proofing. However, I cannot use this as evidence for acceptance at my work. According to the journal's website, they send a formal letter of acceptance only after typesetting and proofing has been done. What do you think would be the best way for me to proceed with this?
    – Naadz
    May 31 at 7:52
  • Deadline approached, arrived and went by, so your need for the acceptance letter is a lesser pressing concern. The solution is: be patient. It may be that the paper will not appear in this month's issue. It is journal-dependent, but it may be you will receive the acceptance letter and that the article will be available online before the issue is published (so your paper will be "in print")
    – EarlGrey
    May 31 at 8:43
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    How do you know that "the issue my article is supposed to appear in is this month's issue" and that "it usually isn't supposed to take longer than two weeks for typesetting and proofreading"? What is your source of information? May 31 at 9:36
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3 Answers 3

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with contacting the editor. In fact, instead of the editor, locate the email that deals with publication related matters, which you are likely to locate on the journal site. Mail them. They usually respond way quicker than the busy editors.

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There should not be any harm in asking them politely if there is anything more they'd need from you to publish the manuscript.

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The decision is yours, but note that writing to them won't have any positive effect on speeding up the process. There are a lot of reasons why things take time and others why you may not get an answer. Even in the smoothest running organizations, things happen. In a pandemic and in which a lot of people need to "touch" your work in some way to get it published, bad things happen.

While I recommend patience, since it is what it is, a (very) polite note asking for an update is not out of line.

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    "but note that writing to them won't have any positive effect on speeding up the process" - I think that this is often true but not always. I once wrote to an editor and got an apology that things had taken so long (this was after having been patient for longer than the person who has asked this question here) followed by immediate processing. Apparently somebody had forgotten something. This can happen even though I believe that more often than not writing "won't have positive effects". May 31 at 17:17
  • I agree - I wrote a very gentle email to to check and follow up after 3 months of radio silence. After that I received the camera ready copy in one day. No one said this explicitly, but something had been forgotten.
    – Dawn
    Jun 1 at 16:36

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