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I submitted a research paper to a special issue of a reputed computer science journal (SCI indexed) and the results were due on January 31st. However, the results have not been announced to date, and my email to the Guest Editor requesting for information on the delay has gone unanswered. I am really worried about this delay without notification, as the whole point of submitting to a special issue was to get reviews faster than regular issues. Is this big delay normal? Should I be worried that my paper is lost or worse? I can see the status "Reviewing" when I log into the journal's tracking service. Please advise on what I should do.

Thanks in advance.

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Oftentimes, and that's valid esp. for academia, a call will be better than an email. It's really easy to oversee (deliberate or not) an email, but if you call, the editor (or a secretary) has to answer. And if you have someone on the line you can ask your questions directly and he has to answer or give you sme other sort of feedback.

It's annoying for a lot of us, since an email is easier, faster, you can better oversee what you're writing and you don't have to call someone and speak to him personally. But from an efficency point of view, a call is in most of the cases the best approach.

Just ask polite, don't make some sort of accusation or preasure somthing, but that are the same rules that apply for emails.

  • Thank you so much for the answer. My adviser did suggest this today. But our worry is, if it is unethical to contact the editor directly over the telephone. An email is still impersonal, a call may be taken as too intrusive. – Skarth Mar 18 '15 at 16:31
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    @Skarth: It's certainly not unethical. If someone lists a phone number publicly, that is an invitation to call if you need to speak to them. Yes, it is somewhat intrusive, which is why courtesy (not ethics) suggests that you try email first. But you have already done that, without success. – Nate Eldredge Mar 18 '15 at 16:47
  • if you call, the editor (or a secretary) has to answer: Well, there is such a thing as voice mail. – Nate Eldredge Mar 18 '15 at 16:48
  • We will try that option tomorrow. Thank you for the advice. – Skarth Mar 18 '15 at 17:17
  • @NateEldredge Yu are of course right, there is such a thing as voice mail. But I hate these machines and i hang up the phone every tme I get one. I would then just try again later. – Julian Mar 18 '15 at 17:31
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I had a similar experience, although not with a special issue. In my case, the delay was due to the fact that a change of Editor-In-Chiefs happened. However, it came not even close to a delay of 45 days. That can be because a reviewer did not meet the deadline.

  • Yes, I agree it does happen. However, with regular issues we may not be given a fixed date for the review results. But in this case, we have submitted to a special issue with a supposedly "fixed" deadline for reviews, the delay seems to be too much. – Skarth Mar 18 '15 at 17:19

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