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According to the information retrieved from EVISE supporting agent, my revised submission was undergoing the second round of review. I have found out that both referees missed their target deadline (without any request for further extension).

The agent also tried to persuade that the submission will have final decision soon; (s)he called it as 'Target decision date'.

Here are the questions I would like to know: 1) Is it common that the reviewers returns their comments late? 2) Have anyone experienced 'Target decision date'?

Kindly regards,

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  • It's pretty common for reviewers to be slow.
    – Bill Barth
    Sep 25, 2015 at 2:05

2 Answers 2

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Unfortunately it is all too common for some reviewers to be delinquent in their manuscript returns. In particular in traditional academic publishers. Often reviewers are professors/researchers with multiple hats in academia including writing up their own research. I would agree with the previous answer that a target decision date is a way for editors to try and push all reviewers to respond.

One example where the turnover is quick(er) is the highly structure online journals like Frontier or PLOS. In the former the turnover is ±14 days for most journals and article submission. The second review process is also around 14 days so all in all about 5-6 week turnaround depending on the quality of the manuscript.

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The 'target decision date' is just the editors way of saying she hopes she can get you a final answer by then. Editors have very little leverage over reviewers to make them return their reviews on time, or at all. At this point, the editor is likely bugging the reviewers to turn their second round of reviews in. If the reviewers never reply to the editor, eventually she will either send the paper to different reviewers (who you will then have to wait to here back from) or just make a judgement call herself as to whether your revision satisfied the reviewers' critiques from the first round of reviews. Sometimes the review process can be really slow. A coworker of mine had a 300 day turn around between submission and publication on one of her recent papers.

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