I have submitted a paper and both reviewers stated that the work is very well-written, novel, very well-done etc., and asked only some very easy questions. After I sent the revised version, on the same day both reviewers completed their review report (I could see the status on the tracking system). So based on the previous positive comments, and the short time for them to complete the second review, I assumed they accepted the article. It has been 2 weeks now and still the editor did not send us their decision. I am giving birth in a couple of weeks and I really need to handle this before my due date. What should I do? Is it wise to send them an email stating the reason I am in a hurry for the editor's decision?

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    After accept decisions, editors usually only need the source files for the articles. Prepare everything and when the decision comes you just need to send an email. I'm not sure if rushing the editors is the right way to go. Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 7:30
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    Please frame your question. What is the issue stressing you? To have the official acceptance letter of the paper before giving birth or the work needed to be carried out between acceptance and publication of the paper?
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 8:32
  • Two weeks in my view isn't a lot. OK, optimally a decision can be made in few days in such a situation, but the editor may be travelling or have other urgent things to do. It is absolutely not unusual that people have a backlog of two or even three of four weeks to work through. Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


Two weeks is plenty of time to make a decision, so feel free to nudge the editor (especially since "I am giving birth soon and won't be available for a while" is a reason most people will empathize with).

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    Depends on the journal. In my field, some journals have an editorial board that makes recommendations to the main editors, and then they meet monthly to decide which to accept. Bugging the editorial board member will do nothing. Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 10:04
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    I've never even heard of a decision taking so little time, let alone ever experiencing it. In my field (biology/bioinformatics) it usually takes several months to go from submission to acceptance/rejection.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 14:57
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    @terdon yes, but that's from submission to decision. Right now the status for the OP's manuscript is "reviews completed".
    – Allure
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 16:02
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    Ah yes, indeed. Fair point.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 16:24

I am giving birth in a couple of weeks and I really need to handle this before my due date

First: congratulations!

Second: do not let being a mother completely define you. You will still be a scientist, although with a seriously impaired agenda (don't worry, it is really so, it would be stupid to claim otherwise and it will be even more stupid to discriminate you on that basis).

Third: even if the paper is accepted tonight, it is quite likely the paper will still require minimal editing and input from you for the final version in 3/4 weeks. You may still find the time to do that or you may delegate one of the co-authors to do that, maybe prepare them to be able to work with the processed data and the needed plotting scripts?

All the best for your future!

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    If this is your meaning, it might be worth clarifying "seriously impaired agenda in the short term". Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 15:46
  • @GregMartin let's put it clear: there is a reason if we consider advanced countries the ones giving 6 months, 1 year or even 2 years of maternal paid leave. I totally agree with the definition of civilized country a country that takes care human in their most vulnerable times, which means childhood, teenager-time, elder time and the transition from adults to parents. Do (hard working, honest) people have to pay 40% of taxes to sustain such an environment? yes, do the maths, I am ready to accept such a "burden" to live in a decent society.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 7:15

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