I have a manuscript that is placed under review for a month now and during this month I have discovered that there are a few things I want to change/add in the manuscript and I don't want to publish this manuscript in this particular journal anymore.

How can I ask for this manuscript back?

Should I just send an email to the editorial office and what do I say?

This is the first time I done such a thing.


  • 2
    If you do this too often the editor, may just consider processing any of your manuscripts to be a waist of time....
    – Ian
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 9:37

2 Answers 2


Just contact the editor in charge of your submission. It may not be the main editor but an associate editor. Usually, when you login in the website for managing submissions, there is often a link to contact the editor. If not, you may also know who is the editor in charge of your submission by reading the e-mail that was sent to you as confirmation when you submitted the paper. Otherwise, you may look for an e-mail on the website to contact the editor. Those are general guidelines. It may vary depending on the journal. But don't worry. It is not a problem to remove a journal paper. This happen quite often.

  • Do I need to state the reason for the withdraw?
    – MrDi
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 3:31
  • 1
    You could just say the truth. But you don't really need to. You could give any reason. But personnally, I would just give some very general reason such as we found an issue in our paper and we would like to withdraw it to take the time to revise the paper (you can say that even if you plan to submit somewhere else). In any case, if you ask to withdraw the paper, the editor will withdraw it.
    – Phil
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 3:36

If the manuscript was processed through some online system, then in fact "withdrawing the paper" should be an option available to you at any time. If you access the system, click on that, wait a suitable amount of time, the paper should indeed be withdrawn.

If you had direct correspondence with an editor, you should email the last editor you corresponded with and say "I would like to withdraw paper XXXX [giving enough information to clearly identify it] from journal YYYY [ditto]." You might want to give a brief explanation of the reasons for a withdrawal and/or discussion of your future plans with this paper, but that is probably mostly a face-saving device. In most cases, it should not be strictly necessary.

If you both dealt with an editor and dealt with an online system, then it would be safest to do both of the above.

By the way, this is not at all an unusual action to take. You are not going to get an argument or have to defend yourself. Just do it.

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