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I'm not so sure what to do in this situation. I'm a final year PhD student who submitted a manuscript for publication in a clinical journal (paediatrics) about 5 months ago. I've been tracking the online status of the manuscript and as of February 2016 it indicated "all reviews complete". Its been over 1 month now and I've tried calling, sending e-mails, no reply whatsoever. The phone keeps ringing and I've also left messages (Its based in the US-I'm in the UK). There's only one e-mail address provided on their website and I've struggled to get contact details of any of the other academics on the editorial board.

I'm just getting a little concerned by the lack of feedback or update regarding the manuscript-has anyone experienced this before? What would you do apart from keep waiting?

Edit: Just to let you all know that I heard from them a day after this post!

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    Writework on another paper? – Mikey Mike Apr 13 '16 at 12:00
  • @MikeyMike, Thanks-I'm actually writing my thesis at the moment. – John_dydx Apr 13 '16 at 13:57
  • @MikeyMike While I suspect you intended to put a / in your comment somewhere, "writework" is my new favorite academic verb. – Fomite Apr 15 '16 at 5:18
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Over a month seems normal to me. The editor will need time to consolidate the reviewers' comments and decide on whether to accept, reject, or return the paper to you for revision. It might take longer if the recommendations from the reviewers are conflicting. Bear in mind that the editor has other responsibilities and might handle a number of papers at the same time.

Usually in the online submission system there will be an option to send a message to the editor handling the paper. You can try it if there is one. I would not suggest contacting other editors in the editorial board as they may not be involved with the review of your paper.

  • Thanks for your comment-in that case, I shall continue waiting to hear from them-hopefully before I finish the PhD. – John_dydx Apr 13 '16 at 12:16
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    Even if it is not published by the time you are applying for your next position, just list it as "submitted" or something. This is quite common. – GEdgar Apr 13 '16 at 15:33
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Do you know when their next issue is due to be released? (Is it a monthly or quarterly publication?) If the new issue is due out soon they may be very busy, and not replying to your emails because your questions will soon be answered when the journal is published.

Secondly, have you mentioned this to your PhD supervisor? They may be familiar with the journal or general practices in your field and be able to advise you how long the process normally takes. Also, they may have more contacts and be able to get in touch with someone to find out if there is an issue.

If the problem persists or you think there is an issue with the journal, I have known people in my field (astrophysics) to withdraw papers and resubmit to a different journal, but I'm not sure how much that happens in other disciplines.

  • Thanks for your comments. It appears they've just released an issue this month so perhaps they've been quite busy. I've discussed this with my supervisors and they advised contacting the journal editors. – John_dydx Apr 13 '16 at 12:15

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