In January 2016 I had submitted my work to Elsevier mathematics journal. For 8 months they kept my manuscript under review and for one month under status 'Decision in process'. Now the editor responded rejection with comments like following; "The manuscript is of limited interest to the readership of this journal, and I can not recommend it for publication". Is this fair to respond with such short review after such a long period of review ?

I am not in anyway want to justify that my work can not be rejected, but after such long wait I was expecting some decent comments.

  • 4
    From what I understood of the publishing process in mathematics, 9 months is not especially long to get a decision.
    – Cape Code
    Oct 10, 2016 at 9:10
  • I don't think "fairness" is something that can be decided or answered well on a StackExchange site: questions of ethics and justice keep philosophy departments pretty well occupied. Can you try to find a version of your question which is not so open-ended?
    – Yemon Choi
    Oct 10, 2016 at 9:23
  • 2
    In other words, asking for explanations of why it took so long seems a reasonable SE question. But asking "is it fair?" just seems to invite or seek debate and discussion
    – Yemon Choi
    Oct 10, 2016 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


I can't say about fairness, since the manuscript might be indeed of limited interest. On the other hand, I would have contacted the editor after two months under review. It's possible that the manuscript had been forgotten either by the reviewers or by the editor. But what seems to be quite probable in this case is that the editor might have been searching for reviewers, but none showed interest or kept giving up in the process. That would explain why there was no reviews attached to the answer (which is usually the case when the editor decides without reviewers feedback).

  • When reviewer declined to review and editor pass on manuscript to another reviewer then status date get changed, but in my case status date remained unchanged.
    – IgotiT
    Oct 10, 2016 at 9:57
  • 1
    It has happened to me the info to remain the same for some time, while the editor consulted a 3rd and 4th reviewer, so I wouldn't bet on the status to be totally trusted. Still, it might be worth contacting him and asking some further information. They might not reply, but I think it would be worth a try. You can say you want to ask more to improve the quality in the future.
    – BioGeo
    Oct 10, 2016 at 13:07

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