According to the reviewers, the paper I have submitted is now ready for publication. How long I should wait to know the final decision of the editor-in-chief?

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    What do you mean "according to the reviewers"? That is not their call. Who sent you the reviews? Did that not include a decision? – Tobias Kildetoft Aug 1 '14 at 19:28
  • Did they actually say "ready for publication?" If that is exactly what they said, it sounds a bit like weak praise, short of "suitable for this journal." – Colin McLarty Feb 25 '16 at 1:40
  • Since this is resurrected, it strikes me as unclear of what stage of the review process the article actually was in. You can get referee reports and an initial decision by the editor based on them, but if the initial decision is positive then after revisions etc. are submitted there may be additional reviews done and the article can go before the full editorial board for a final decision. – zibadawa timmy Mar 7 '17 at 17:27
  • Just to mention as an experience that may be useful for others. One of my papers is awaiting for Editor-in-Chief decision more than time it took for receiving reviewers' comments! At this point, I really do not know what I should to do. :) It's a ridiculous situation! – Eilia Apr 8 '19 at 13:35
  • So in some journals EiC make the final decision, and in others it is the board that makes them? – Philosopher of science Sep 23 '19 at 19:02

Reviewers can only recommend a verdict so what they say is not necessarily the outcome, the editor has final say. Of course if two reviews agree then it is very likely the outcome will be what they suggest. In a normal review situation involving an editor, the reviewers provide their reviews to the editor who in turn will make a judgement and pass on comments and possible suggestions for improvements to you. If your manuscript is in an open review system (such as the discussion format of Copernicus Open Access journals), you may see the reviews before final decisions are taken and in such a case, I would not trust reviewers opinions on the verdict until you also hear so from the editor.

As is pointed out in a comment, it is a bit intriguing that you seem to have the reviewers comments but not that from the editor. The time between completion of reviews and to a decision by an editor will vary depending on many factors. The editor has to read the reviews in light of the manuscript and then value the comments and provide a synthesis of the outcome for you. Obviously the editor will have other manuscripts to handle in parallel which influences the time a decision may take. To state a time that can be applied to any situation or journal is therefore pointless. I am, however, certain that any serious editor is not keen to hold on to a decision for any extended period. With the journals I have published and the one where I am Editor-in-Chief times from receipt of reviews to decision can vary from maybe days up to a month in rare cases. This seems reasonable for the field in which I work but I am sure that such times vary between both field and journals within a field.

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    Your second paragraph raises a key point: if the referee reports do not ask for revisions, why pass along the referee reports but not the editorial decision? The only possible significance of this is to allow the author to see how long the editorial board is taking to reach its decision. I don't understand why an editor would do this. – Pete L. Clark Aug 2 '14 at 20:49

I am late to the discussion, but these issues are timeless, so I hope its okay. The reviewer comments, if positive, certainly influence an editorial decision positively, but you can't rely on them. Wait for the editor to respond. Different journals have different policies. Here is an anecdote from a BMC journal.

My paper was in review at this journal for close to 4 months, during which we went through two revisions. At the end of it, two of the three reviewers took cheap shots at our product and shot the paper down. The editor, as it turned out, a person with a Master's degree opined "based on reviewer reports, we are rejecting this manuscript". We complained because there was no editorial opinion and were asked to resubmit the manuscript. During second review, they invited two additional reviewers and we finally were able to provide satisfactory revisions and both reviewers recommended acceptance. Again no editorial comment was provided. Our editor during the second submission is a fresh PhD graduate. We have been awaiting a final decision for 10 days. Upon inquiring we were told that now a senior editorial board member is assessing the manuscript before a final decision could be rendered.

I certainly do not think this is the norm, but keep in mind that there are journals out there who do a sloppy job and employ unqualified people in editor's position.

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  • Sounds like a low-ranking journal with questionable reputation. You must be in a different field than me, as in mine I've never known an editor to provide his own opinion on the work, nor anyone to expect it, beyond desk rejects. It's always a "The reviewers have recommended acceptance, so we need you to make the requested revisions..." or "The reviewers have recommended rejection, so we will not be accepting..." type of response. Presumably there's a third option involving a major revision that may then be subjected to further review, but I've not personally encountered this situation. – zibadawa timmy Mar 7 '17 at 17:24
  • I will declare the name of the journal once we get a final decision. In the meantime, in my field it used to be the norm that the editor will compile reviewer's reports, then write his own opinion before making a decision. But this process appears be going away. More or more editors are in name only. They have turned into paper pushers. I recently retracted my review in two journals because the editor declined to provide any comment. If you want your name on a manuscript, you better do some real work. That's my opinion. Otherwise anyone could be an editor. – cryptic0 Mar 7 '17 at 20:41

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