I submitted an article to a journal several months ago, and after two rounds of revisions, I have received an email from the editor with whom I've been corresponding, in which they said that the referee is "satisfied with the latest version", and therefore "I have recommended acceptance". Moreover, the editor said that I would receive information soon on uploading the final version of my paper to the journal.

What I'd like to understand is if this is enough to consider my article accepted, so that on my CV, I can list it as "accepted at ___" or "to appear in ___".

In the question When to label paper as "accepted" on your publication list?, the top answer recommends to list an article as "accepted" when one has received the "final acceptance letter", but I suppose I'm not sure whether the email that I received would count as such.


3 Answers 3


I recommend asking your question directly to the editor. You can ethically list the paper as accepted precisely if they say that you can, so asking should clear it up entirely.

Perhaps you are worried that asking the question will come off as "pushy" or that it could possibly jeopardize the acceptance of the paper. But that's not the way the process works -- even if an editor was unprofessional enough to have their decision swayed by an inquiry (and while I have seen lots of things go wrong in the publication process, I have never seen that), this is an especially implausible scenario: after recommending acceptance, the editor would then have a lot of work to do to justify reversing their recommendation, and this reversal would likely make them look bad to the rest of the editorial board. So there is no harm in asking.

By the way, I was in the same situation once: the language that I got was cloudy enough so that I really couldn't tell whether the paper had been accepted yet. I had a grant application due, and I wanted to list the paper as accepted, so I wrote back to ask if I could do so. They told me I could.


I came across this question today, and I want to briefly share one of my experiences. It is an opposite to the answer of @aeismail, and to the final paragraph of @PeteL.Clark's answer:

Once (c.2016), I submitted a paper to a specialist, but pretty mainstream, mathematics journal, and after a round of revisions I got an email from the handling editor saying, roughly, "I have recommended this for acceptance, can you please send me your .tex files etc.", which I promptly did. A few weeks later I got an email from the editor saying that the other editors didn't like the paper (giving specific reasons), so it was being rejected. This is basically the same situation in the question, but with a different outcome.

On the flip side, I recently had an editor tell me that this "informally-accept-then-reject" is extremely rare in their journal (which is different-but-similar to the above journal), so informal acceptance is almost-guaranteed acceptance.

The point is that editors (usually) act as a team. If they recommend a paper for acceptance then often this means that they are recommending it to the other editors, but there is no guarantee that the other editors will agree. Of course, every journal works differently so contacting them, as in @PeteL.Clark's answer, is the best thing to do. I just wanted to counter-balance to optimistic replies with something more negative :-)

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    That's an interesting case, thanks for sharing! It still seems fair to say that the depicted situation is not only nonstandard, but also that the editor's communication skills are abysmal (assuming that their nonstandard process is not documented somewhere else). Oct 26, 2021 at 11:01
  • @lighthousekeeper Yes, I've rarely heard of anyone else being in this situation (and no first-hand accounts), so it is certainly nonstandard. (Possibly journal editors can tell more tales, and my paragraph about the other journal does come with a story but which is not mine to tell.) However, I don't think the editors communication skills were so bad - their language was cloudy enough that I figured it wasn't a formal acceptance so didn't tell anyone/put it on my cv or website, which I guess is what they were aiming for!
    – user1729
    Oct 26, 2021 at 11:24
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    The reason I call the communication skills bad is that from the standard process, one might assume that the actual acceptance is just a formality, especially after you already sent in your .tex files. A clear statement would have said something along the lines of "Your manuscript needs to go through another decision round, with the journal's other editors." Oct 26, 2021 at 11:40
  • @lighthousekeeper Yes, I see what you mean.
    – user1729
    Oct 26, 2021 at 11:43

At this point, you can safely say that the paper has been accepted. You would not be told about uploading a final version unless the paper is in fact accepted.


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