If an academic submits a paper to a journal, it is helpful to know as fast as possible whether that journal will accept it, so that he/she can submit it to an alternative journal as fast as possible.

How long will it generally take before you know that the first-choice journal rejects your paper? Does it ever happen that the journal simply doesn't respond? (as some employers do when you send an application for a position).

I know that it is considered unethical to submit to multiple journals at once, but that does mean that the journal has a responsibility to let you know as fast as possible whether the paper is accepted or not.

(ps. I haven't published anything before)


It depends quite much on the actual journal and the field. You can try to ask colleagues with previous experience on the same journal. In my field, Physical Chemistry/chemical Physics, the normal thing is acknowledging that the paper has been received withing hours or a few days,and providing a place to inquire automatically after that. That way you know if the article has already been submitted to a referee, for instance. In resume: try to get advise from someone already published in the journal.

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