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My manuscript went from "With the Editor" to "Decision in Process" after I submitted it to a journal, which had a median decision time of 10 days. After 18 days the status changed to "Decision in Process". What might this imply? If it was intended to be rejected within the 10-day period, shouldn't they do so? Why is there a status change after eighteen days?

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    Please learn the meaning of "median". If there are three papers and one takes six days, one takes 7 days and one takes 5 years, then the median is a week. Most such statements from editors and publishers, generally, are literal statements of fact. Even beyond that whatever they "intend" may not be what they can achieve in any particular case as decisions are made by individuals.
    – Buffy
    Nov 20, 2023 at 20:16
  • Does this answer your question? academia.stackexchange.com/questions/148382/…
    – Allure
    Nov 21, 2023 at 1:09

1 Answer 1

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If the median is 10 days, that means that half of decisions take longer than that.

Plus, among the half of decisions that get taken in 10 days or less are presumably all the desk rejections that happen within two days. So conditional on not being desk rejected, median time to decision may be a lot higher.

Finally, time to decision is a discrete variable with support on the nonnegative axis. Such distributions usually have a mean (much) larger than the median.

Bottom line: the elapsed time, in itself, is no cause for concern. 18 days is actually easily a case of "the editor in chief got a case of COVID, couldn't work for a week, and is now slowly digging through their accumulated work". I would not yet start contacting anyone.

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