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I am PhD student and I had submitted my manuscript by email (the journal has not online submission system) to one ISI journal in November 2014. After one month I asked about the status of my paper but they said that they have not received any paper. Then again they want me to try for submission.

However, before submission I asked the editor to announce the approximate time of publishing the paper if it is accepted. He said that they can not publish earlier than December 2015. Because I am in a hurry to publish may paper, I said them I will submit my paper to another journal. After that the editor promised me that it will be published in Issue 2 of 2015 and told me that it is accepted now. I trusted him and I submitted my manuscript to the journal.

Now after two months I asked about the paper’s status but unfortunately the editor said that my manuscript will be published at the end of 2015. I am very angry about this decision and I asked the journal to reject my paper urgently to let me be free to try for another journal. But editor doesn’t answer my mail.

I want now to know what are my rights now. Can the journal not answer my request? And can the journal publish pay paper without my agreement? I don’t want my paper be published in this journal. Can I submit to another journal?

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    The whole submission process sounds a bit strange, not to say dodgy. Did you at any time sign a transfer of copyright document to the journal you submitted to? – o4tlulz Mar 29 '15 at 10:15
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    1) What is an “ISI journal”? 2) Your sentence “I assured him and I submitted my manuscript to the journal.” does not make sense – did you want to write “I trusted him”? 3) What field are we talking about here? – Wrzlprmft Mar 29 '15 at 10:20
  • the journal name is "Journal of Water Chemistry and Technology", the field is environmental engineering and water and watewater treatment – Mahdi Hadi Mar 29 '15 at 11:10
  • It would be extremely wise to look at a journals publication policy before submitting an article, especially if you are in a 'hurry to publish your paper'. Unlike most journals, this journal only seem to publish articles on issue base. There is no Online First. Getting your article in an issue is an slow process, in most fields this takes months. In your case, being in a hurry, you should have gone for a journal publishing Online First. You should still be able to retract your article, but should mention this when submitting to an other journal. – Maarten van Wesel Mar 30 '15 at 4:19
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Most, if not all regular journals allow you retract submissions at any time before publication, in which case you do not need to wait for the journal to reject your paper and a simple email that you retract your paper should suffice (even if they do not reply to it – make sure that you have proof that you sent that mail though). The details of this will be listed in the journal’s transfer-of-copyright agreement (or similar), to which you probably agreed at some point. If you did not agree to one, the journal cannot legally publish your article anyway.

That being said, there are some aspects of your story that indicate that the journal in question is not regular, but a predatory or otherwise shady publisher, in particular:

[…], I said them I will submit my paper to another journal. After that the editor […] told me that it is accepted now.

No reputable journal accepts papers just like that. I strongly advise you to make sure that you correctly understood this communication and also to check whether the journal is predatory. You may find relevant questions on this issue here under .

Finally , some sidenotes regarding your situation:

  • Depending on your field, one year from submission to publication may be the norm.
  • Many journals publish papers online months or even years before they are published in print. In most cases, an online publication (or even an acceptance) should suffice for your needs.
  • As already mentioned, it’s very unusual ask a journal to reject a paper. Rejecting or accepting a paper reflects the journal’s opinion (usually assessed with the help of peer-reviewers) on your paper. Asking a journal to reject your paper is somewhat like asking somebody to dislike the colour green. Instead, you retract papers from journals.
  • thank you Wrzlprmft, when I submitted my paper I only attached my cover letter which in it I had confirmed that my paper is not in under review or had been not submitted to other journal. your mean about "agreement" is this cover letter or the "copyright" before publication. I have not agree with copyright yet. – Mahdi Hadi Mar 29 '15 at 11:22
  • I am not sure whether there is a question hidden in there, but confirming that your paper has not been submitted to another journal is not a transfer-of-copyright agreement. (Be aware though that some journals consider this agreement implicit under certain conditions, but then this is stated somewhere.) – Wrzlprmft Mar 29 '15 at 12:01
  • Very thanks for your useful answer, I have received an email from the editor that they retracted my paper, now I am free to submit my paper to another journal. But It was a good experience that I'll never submit my papers to journals those only work by E-mail and have not online-submission system. – Mahdi Hadi Apr 6 '15 at 11:09
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The journal mentioned in the comments below the original question is published by Springer, which oftentimes guarantees some kind of quality. At the same time, the editor in chief and all members of the editorial board are from Ukraine -- a country small enough to make it questionable that they can have a sufficient number of internationally relevant researchers in a field like this.

In other words, it is a journal operated by a small group of people who are so close to each other geographically and organizationally that they cannot provide meaningful quality control and oversight over each other. This is, for example, visible in the fact that a large majority of the papers in the journal are by Ukrainian researchers. I'm not saying that these papers are bad, but it is certainly indicative that others from abroad do not want to publish in this journal. The behavior of the editor -- accepting your paper without any indication of review -- also does not install confidence.

So, you may be better off retracting your paper if you think you can get it published elsewhere. You should be able to do so by contacting Springer staff if you can't get to the editors.

  • Very thanks for your useful answer, I have received an email from the editor that they retracted my paper, now I am free to submit my paper to another journal. But It was a good experience that I'll never submit my papers to journals those only work by E-mail and have not online-submission system. – Mahdi Hadi Apr 6 '15 at 11:09
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That journal really doesn't sound reliable. The main principle when submitting to journal is to confirm that the article is not under review by somebody else, so I am afraid that if you don't receive a final confirmation that they rejected the paper, it is better not to send it elsewhere.

  • thank you Sandrina, please let me know can author wants the journal to rejects his manuscript whenever he wants? or what are the rights of authors and journal after submission a manuscript? – Mahdi Hadi Mar 29 '15 at 10:14
  • Very thanks for your useful answer, I have received an email from the editor that they retracted my paper, now I am free to submit my paper to another journal. But It was a good experience that I'll never submit my papers to journals those only work by E-mail and have not online-submission system. – Mahdi Hadi Apr 6 '15 at 11:11

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