For my first time I submitted a manuscript to a journal special issue months ago. The special issue had a proposed schedule as follows:

  • Submission deadline: 1st date
  • Papers reviewed: 2nd date
  • Revised papers reviewed and accepted : 3rd date
  • Notifications to authors: 4th date
  • Publication: Approximate date

A- If it is supposed to send a revision on the (3rd date), does it mean that review comments/scores will be delivered at the (2nd date)? In my case I didn't get review comments even after many days of the (2nd date).

B- The (3th date) mentions "Revised papers reviewed and accepted". Does it mean papers are accepted for granted after the first review round and need only a revision? I thought that usually there are 2 review rounds before final decision.

2 Answers 2


What the different dates imply would seem to be the following.

1st date: you need to have your complete manuscript submitted by this date

2nd date: Reviewers must have provided their reviews by this date

3rd date: between the 2nd date and the third date you need to revise the paper and possibly have another round of reviews if necessary. This deadline thus includes work you the editor and you and possibly additional reviewers. The manuscript should be sent in so that an editor can evaluate it and possibly find it acceptable. This this deadline probably involves a lot less time for you than just the time difference from 2 to 3 implies.

4th date: You will hear about the fate of your paper by this date at the latest.

5th date: the publication is expected to be out in printed form or assembled on the web (depends on what is seen as the final product)

So the time line may seem straight forwards but particularly date 3 is possibly preceded by a lot of work from more persons than you. I am sure an editor will want everyone to on the toes fo that stage so as not to unnecessarily delay the process.

  • Thanks Peter I think it will happen probably that way. Actually what made me doubtful is the fact that there's only 1 month between the 2nd and 3rd date.
    – ichmode
    Feb 6, 2015 at 14:46

Special issue production schedules are often very hazy and subject to slippage and change. The basic problem is that they are typically trying to combine two things that don't fit together neatly: a fixed production schedule and the unknown timings and iterations of a typical journal review process. Reviewers have to be recruited, reviews come back late, authors ask for extensions, more revisions are needed, etc. In my experience, if they stick to within a couple months of the intended schedule, they're doing quite well.


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