I had submitted research paper to a journal two and half months ago. It was under review for two months and now the status is showing that the paper is with editor from last ten days. If the paper has got reviewed why I am not getting any response from the editor.
There are a number of possibilities. Off the top of my head:
- The editor is traveling or otherwise occupied. In my experience, this is particularly likely if you are dealing with a journal that employs professional editors rather than relying upon academic editors.
- The reviews are mixed and the editor has decided to careful assess the manuscript himself or herself--which may take as long as writing a review would take.
- The reviews are mixed and the editor has decided to seek additional reviews, but this is not yet reflected in the manuscript management system.
- The editor wishes to speak in person to one of the referees to clarify something that the referee wrote, but has not yet been able to reach the referee.
You could go on and on and imagine any number of other possible scenarios. I agree it is not optimal for this to happen, but nor is it unusual. As an editor, I try very hard to return a decision within 2 or 3 days of receiving all reviews, but as an author I have found that waits of a week or two are not unusual.
First, editors take decisions seriously and will not rush decisions unnecessarily, however, neither does anyone want unnecessary delays, long turnover times is not good for the journal in that authors find the venue less attractive for publishing. In "my" journal we have set a three week period to make decisions based on the reviews. This period is by no means a law but it appears reasonable and to some extent normal based on experiences from other journals. So 10 days is, from this perspective, not something worrisome.
What has to be remembered is that many, I would say most, editors perform their duties outside of regular academic jobs. They handle more manuscripts than yours at the same time and which are at various stages of the review process.
So, about three weeks seems like a reasonable limit after which one can consider checking up on the status. That decisions can take longer is not uncommon for a variety of reasons but to some extent, no new is usually good news since rejections are usually easier to decide than providing recommendations for revisions.
I only want to amplify on the answer by Corvus, based on my own experience as editor. First, editors usually have other full-time jobs as teachers and researchers. In my field, there are no editors who are employees of publishing companies rather than academicians. Other overwhelming demands are the main cause of lag between receipt of review and making a decision. Second, an editor ought to be more than a mechanical bean-counter who plugs 3-value accept-meh-reject reviews into a formula, and it can quite some time to absorb the intellectual content of a submission and 2-5 reviews, and then frame the decision in a way that is optimal for the journal (specifically, be encouraging if there is promise in the paper). Third, while this is rare, sometimes the existing reviews are patently inadequate, i.e. every reviewer missed a flaw that the editor saw.