I am doing a PhD and I have submitted an article to be peer-reviewed 9 months ago to a certain journal. I haven't got any response yet from the journal, their server indicates the "Under review" status. The problem is, I cannot wait more longer since the acceptance of the article is a requirement to validate my PhD.

Do you think I can stop the reviewing process and send it to another journal? What if I sent it to another journal at the same time? Or, would the reviewing process speeds up if, e.g. I pay for the open access?


I forgot to mention that the status cited above stipulates that:

At least one Reviewer has accepted to review the submisѕion, however the required number of reviews for the submisѕion have not yet been received.

I have provided 5 names for the peer-reviewing process of my article, and mentioned that 1 potential reviewer from another university should not review it (because of competitive reasons).

  • 1
    Did you talk to your advisor about the situation? Maybe he is familiar with the journal, maybe he can tell you how to handle your PhD valuation, etc. Either way, as this might delay your PhD, your supervisor should be informed asap.
    – Dirk
    Nov 30, 2017 at 10:17
  • I know someone who has send a mathematical paper to a specific journal, the first review come after more than 1 year, and the paper was published 2 years after it was submitted.
    – Nikey Mike
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:33
  • @DirkLiebhold Yes, I have talked about the situation to my supervisor and he is surprise that we haven't got any response yet.
    – JrCaspian
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:53

3 Answers 3


"Under review" for nine months is normal in some disciplines

Do you think I can stop the reviewing process and send it to another journal?

No. This will most likely delay the process even further.

What if I sent it to another journal at the same time?

No. This is (most likely) prohibited.

Or, would the reviewing process speeds up if, e.g. I pay for the open access?

No. Open access is entirely independent of the reviewing process. The former is handled by the publisher, the latter is handled by your peers.

  • 1
    Nine months is unusual in my field. I would contact the editor. But OP doesn't mention their field.
    – user9482
    Nov 30, 2017 at 11:51
  • Open access is entirely independent of the reviewing process wishful thinking. Journals with article charges have a strong incentive to accept and publish the highest number of papers.
    – Cape Code
    Nov 30, 2017 at 14:11
  • @CapeCode researchers (reviewers) accept content, not publishers, so I don't see this as wishful thinking. As a reviewer, I have never known (nor do I care) whether the manuscript I am reviewing will be published as open access. (Predatory publishers do of course accept and publish the highest number of papers, but I assume the audience of academic.stackexchange isn't interested in journals published by those publishers.)
    – user2768
    Nov 30, 2017 at 14:17

Whether the 9+ month review is normal or delayed depends on the field you are in. In my field of Computer Science, 9 months is pretty normal; sometimes it takes more than a year to get the first decision.

Okay, given that you think this is delayed, what you could do:

You could send a gentle reminder to the journal editor regarding the status of your manuscript. For example.

Dear Editor


I am writing regarding the manuscript entitled "A long waiting Ph.D." with manuscript Id JOUR-2016-0987, which is under review at present in your esteemed journal.

I was interested to know a probable date by which I could expect the first decision.

Looking forward to a response in this regard.



Journal of Long Review

If you do not get a response from the editor or the status does not change within a month or two, then you should remind again by following up the above email.

Again, if you don't get any response, consider that the journal does not respect your work and effort; and then send a formal withdrawal email.

But, be careful when you are withdrawing the paper. When you don't get a confirmation email of the withdrawal, You should follow up with journal few times and then send final email for withdrawal confirmation.

Remember that withdrawal has to be confirmed by both the sides to be considered a valid withdrawal.


In my fields 9 months is long and I would have already contacted the editor. It is not acceptable that a referee agree to take the task and spread this on a months period. You could tell the editor about your phd status and requirement and s(he) will likely make sure that none of the referees forgot to review or finish to review your manuscript.

  • I see. My field of study is related to oil and gas, and economy (evaluation of reserves). I will probably contact the editor soon to inform him about my phd status.
    – JrCaspian
    Dec 1, 2017 at 11:58

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