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I have submitted my paper in June, 2016 in an Elsevier math journal. Around first week of June, 2017, replying to my personal query, the handling editor informed me that he has sent the reviewer's decision to the editorial board. The current status of the paper (for almost three weeks now) is "decision in process". Now I am quite confused regarding the possible outcomes. In my experience, after reviewer's report, author gets the information within a week. Therefore it would be really helpful if somebody could help me in the above matter.

PS1: After my submission, the journal has not asked for any revision and the status went directly from "under review" to "decision in process".

PS2: I am quite aware of the typical workflow of a journal. But my question is not regarding the process.

  • Why not ask the editor again? – astronat Jul 18 '17 at 13:47
  • The editor and his assistants do not have always time to update the status of the submission. Do not worry about your submission, it should be going through the usual processes. If it will take longer than normal (depends on your field), you can write a nice email to the technical editor asking about the status of your paper – Younes Jul 18 '17 at 14:32
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I doubt that you are quite aware of the workflow of that particular journal. The related wisdom found on Academia SE appears incorrect too. AFAIK (from personal experience as handling editor for an elsevier journal), the editorial system here is a two-tier system: there is the editorial board and there are specialist/handling editors.

The handling editor deals with the reviewing and submits their decision to the editorial board (or the editor in charge), who in turn base the final decision (as communicated to the author in the decision letter) on the handling editor's suggestion. So, in your case

  1. the handling editor has obtained the reviews and submitted their decision to the editor/editorial board; what this decision may be, you cannot know: it can be 'reject', 'accept without change', or 'revise' (most likely);
  2. the editor(ial board member) in charge has not yet processed this case.

This is mostly likely because they are away on vacation or conference/work related leave. If you don't get a decision within a few weeks, you may inquire with the editor in chief or the clerk.

Note also that with this process the status always changes from 'under review' to 'decision in process', regardless of whether you will be asked to make revisions.

  • I strongly agree with the view on 'vacation' or conference related leaves. My colleagues do this often and the review or editorial works keep pending to be finished in the coming semester. – Coder Jul 18 '17 at 18:07

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