About a year ago I submitted a paper to a very good math journal. After 10 months I asked the editor for its status, and he said it is still with the referee, and that he will remind him about it.

Two more months have passed. Should/could I write the editor again? or am I risking annoying the editor/referee? How much time should I wait between such inquires?


2 Answers 2


As an editor of a number of mathematics journals, I would be pretty irritated to receive two queries from an author within two months. What exactly is achieved by emailing a journal to ask for an update in the first place? Mostly, it helps on the (perhaps not so rare) occasion where the paper has fallen through the cracks, as happens when someone agrees to review the paper but then forgets about it. What would be achieved by emailing the journal twice in two months? It's hard to imagine it resulting in your paper being reviewed any sooner, and easy to imagine it annoying the editor. I would wait six months between queries.


If it has been an entire year, then I think you are well within your rights to enquire about the status of your paper. You have been remarkably patient.

Does the journal publish metrics on time-to-publication? Can you work it out from looking at the submission dates of articles published in the most recent edition?

If 12 months is unusual for this particular journal then something is not going as it should, and in the least the editor should keep you informed.

  • The average time for this journal from submission to acceptence is 14 months. Given that, do you think I should wait more? Feb 13, 2017 at 14:34
  • I don't think that you have anything to lose by asking. If I was in your position I would have no qualms at all about contacting the editor again. I often contact editors if I have not heard anything after a couple of months! Worst case scenario - the editor says that your paper is still out for review. Best case scenerio - your email prompts him to speed up the process.
    – BigWill
    Feb 13, 2017 at 15:41
  • @GeneralJournal then why not wait until 14 months? If you have a pressing reason, like an interview or application coming up, then I can imagine wanting to know at all costs. Mar 9, 2017 at 7:48

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