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I submitted my paper seven months ago and it is still under review. I sent several emails to the handling editor but I didn't get any response except every time I sent an email the status date was changed. So I decided to withdraw my paper from journal and I have written a letter to the editor-in-chief but he didn't reply except the status date was changed again! What should I do now?

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    You withdrew the paper, you should now submit a paper to a new journal. – StrongBad Apr 7 '15 at 10:11
  • unfortunately my question was incomplete . now i've edited it. yes I sent 2 emails to editor in cheif but there was no response to my emails. Now my paper is still under review so I can't submit my paper to a new journal. – sarah Apr 7 '15 at 10:20
  • Have you tried contacting the Journals Editorial Office (which is staffed by the publisher and not by the editor)? – Maarten van Wesel Apr 7 '15 at 10:44
  • Maarten , no I didn't do that. the journal belongs to Elsevier, so according to Elsevier 's rule, only editor in cheif is responsible to answer authors. – sarah Apr 7 '15 at 11:00
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    You should still contact the Editorial office. They should be able to do something, and should at least be made aware of the problem. – Kimball Apr 7 '15 at 12:25
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One possibility to put this to an end would be to submit to another journal by an e-mail where you would explain the situation (the paper has been submitted elsewhere, you withdrew it when you realized it was not handled properly, and you got no acknowledgment of this withdrawal), and with a CC to the editor-in-chief of the first journal. That way, the editors of the new journal would know for certain that you withdrew before submitting again, and you would be covered from possible accusations by the first journal. However this corners the first journal in a difficult situation, so it might make them react violently; I would warn them before hand, and only use this as a last recourse.

You can also try to get advice and help from a senior in your field, who will know the editors and might help smooth things out.

A third possibility would be to contact a relevant committee in an academic society (EMS has an ethics committee that could be contacted about a publication in a math journal for example).

  • I should add we resubmitted the paper to the journal. the first time the process of reviewing the paper was less than 2 months and then editor advised us to revise our paper according the reviewers comment and then submit to the journal. we did all that staff but after more than 7 months we have not got any response. – sarah Apr 7 '15 at 11:35
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    If you have resubmitted after review, then the paper is going back to the original reviewers. I would hesitate to submit it elsewhere. Have you checked your spam folder for possible replies? Have you called the editor-in-chief at his or her institution during posted office hours? I would still contact Elsevier, documenting all attempts to contact the editor-in-chief. They need to put pressure on the editor-in-chief, or install a new one. – Debora Weber-Wulff Apr 7 '15 at 21:33
  • Debora, I have checked my spam folder too. Indeed they replied me only by changing the status date. No I haven' called the editor- in -chief yet. yesterday I sent an email to the Editorial office in which I explained all stuffs. As you know , many of Elsevier journals have an option as a "send e-mail". So I used this option to contact with editors as a result I don't have any sent email! – sarah Apr 8 '15 at 4:52
  • Among your three possibilities, I think the second may work to me ! As I said, I've resubmitted the paper and so I know the first handling editor who advised me to resubmit the paper. But I was wondering whether it is good to contact him. Since I am pretty sure the current handling editor is not him! – sarah Apr 8 '15 at 5:04

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