I'm a postdoc working in the field of cancer genomics. Recently I submitted my work to a Nature sub-journal. It quickly went from "manuscript submitted" to "editor assigned" and "manuscript under consideration". But there was no updates since then. Now it's been 3 weeks since the status first changed to "manuscript under consideration". As a newbee in this forum I cannot attach pictures, so I just copied and pasted the manuscript tracking information in the system here:
Manuscript under consideration: 18th August 23
Editor Assigned: 18th August 23
Manuscript submitted: 17th August 23
Submission in process: 17th August 23
It seems that it's stuck at this stage. I heard that Nature and Nature sub-journals reject papers pretty quickly if it was a desk rejection (usually within one week). So it might be a good sign? Does this mean that my paper is still being considered by the editors? Or could it be because the handling editor is trying to contact reviewers but the reviewers are just too busy to reply?
Update: the manuscript was rejected ~20 days later, and the editor recommended us transferring our paper to Nature Communications. They had a discussion with the editorial board of Nature Communications, and told me that our paper met NC's standards to send out for revidw. I think they were pretty hesitant whether or not to send our paper out for review at their journal. NC is still a decent journal so we were happy to have our manuscript transferred there. Now it's being reviewed at NC.
Edit: longer-than-usual waiting time could mean the editor is not sure whether the submitted work is good enough for their standard. They might be having a broader discussion which takes time. Not a bad thing in the end. Just to share my data point. Thank all the repliers and wish you all the best along your way.