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I submitted my revision two months ago and emailed to inquire about the status of my manuscript, but I have still had no response. The editor had set a deadline for the revision to be submitted. I was given a little shorter than two months so I prioritized revising the original manuscript to turn it in on time. But for two months I had no information at all.

So, I just got to be curious about the process and the deadline's raison d'etre. If the journal editors are not doing something regarding those revised manuscript soon after the submissions, why are there deadlines? Or would it be not possible at all to inform those who submit manuscript of roughly how long it will be taking to have the review done?

I am just curious...

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    Does this answer your question? How strict are paper revision deadlines?
    – Anyon
    Mar 5, 2023 at 4:40
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    Not duplicate - this question asks why there are deadlines, the other question asks whether those deadlines can be extended on request.
    – Allure
    Mar 5, 2023 at 8:35
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    It isn't true that the journal isn't doing anything with your paper. It is, presumably, on the desk of the reviewers. Mar 5, 2023 at 10:00

2 Answers 2

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Mainly to keep the authors thinking about their manuscript and the journal orderly. Some number of authors will not respond forever - effectively withdrawing their manuscript by never submitting a revision. In these scenarios the journal can see that the manuscript is several weeks/months after the revision due date, assume it will not be revised, and remove the submission from the system (more precisely, archive it or mark it as withdrawn).

If you find the deadline is too short you can always ask for an extension, and expect that the extension will be granted.

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    I doubt that a paper would be "removed from the system" without a rejection. How would they, then, know when something submitted late is a resubmission rather than a new one? And with computer systems there is no need to "remove" it. Reprioritize, perhaps, but not remove.
    – Buffy
    Mar 5, 2023 at 14:00
  • The editorial management system marks resubmitted manuscript (usually - see academia.stackexchange.com/questions/101864/…). But good point, the manuscripts aren't removed from the system after the peer review process has started. I edited the answer.
    – Allure
    Mar 6, 2023 at 11:40
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Different journals have different processes, of course, but one reason for a (soft) deadline is as a courtesy to reviewers that they might want to return a new version to for another look. If there is too much time between reviews, the reviewer has a harder time, needing to bring themselves up to date on the paper as a whole.

Editors also like to keep the pipeline filled, giving themselves maximum flexibility for putting an issue together. This might be especially true for "hot" topics of the day.

But, likely, it is a variety of factors including the prod to authors as mentioned by Allure.

Special issues are a different matter of course, since they may have a fairly firm schedule for publication. Likewise conference submissions.

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