I sent a paper to a Springer journal. After two days the editor was assigned and after 5 days the status changed to "Reviews Completed".

Is this bad news?

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    Probably. Highly unlikely real reviews were done that quickly that would result in acceptance. So either you've been rejected, or you're submitting someplace with the quality control of the place that accepted a paper with 10 pages of "take me off your f**king mailing list" repeated again and again. – Fred Douglis May 22 '17 at 17:13
  • @FredDouglis Or the editor is a clumsy little butterfingers and clicked "Reviews completed" by accident instead of "Reviewers Requested" or "Reviewers Assigned" and hasn't noticed. – zibadawa timmy May 23 '17 at 4:00
  • It might be editorial review. Hope for a desk reject. It is not a scammy Journal? – Coder May 23 '17 at 7:36
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    Since Allure brought this back to the front page ... perhaps hamza can tell us what did happen? – GEdgar Mar 13 '18 at 22:03

Yes, it's a bad sign. If a review is completed that quickly the odds are the reviewer recommended a quick rejection. There's also a small chance the reviewer said something like "I can't understand this paper's English" in which case you might still receive a revise decision. However it's also possible that the editor invited multiple reviewers of which only the first has submitted, so it might be a while longer to a decision. If the other reviews are more positive, you might also get a revise decision.

Human error here is unlikely. The editorial management systems I've seen automatically update the status only when reviews are submitted. If the editor's making a decision without reviewers, the status never shows 'reviews complete'; it goes straight to 'decision in progress'.

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