Most journals have online submission methods, which have made submitting manuscripts much easier and faster for writers. Online submission has fully eliminated the risk of postal delays, which was previously a stumbling block. Furthermore, online submission has reduced the need for several emails. The online article tracking system allows authors to watch their manuscript’s progress after submission. Authors start to worry after submitting their work, therefore, it’s common to continually monitor the status of their manuscript.
While most journals provide specific formatting rules for research papers, they rarely, if ever, clarify what the various statuses indicated on the article tracking system mean. As a result, it can be difficult for authors to understand what a specific status signifies, which adds to their concern. They also feel perplexed and concerned when they see the same status for an extended period or when the status of an article swings unpredictably.
This article aims to give authors an idea of the different statuses that the tracking system displays and what each status means.
While each journal or publishing house may use a somewhat different title for each status, the following are the various statuses that the tracking system may display from submission to final acceptance or rejection:
This indicates that the author has authorized and submitted the manuscript. Following that, the paper is normally formatted by the journal staff before being assigned to an editor.
This step is optional, and not all journals will use it. This indicates that the paper has been assigned to an editor and is awaiting approval.
This status indicates that the manuscript has been assigned to an editor. The editor does an initial screening of the manuscript at this point, and if it meets the journal’s requirements, it is forwarded for peer review. The manuscript will be returned without review if it does not fit the scope of the journal or does not fulfill the publication’s requirements. In such circumstances, the next status can be “Decision in Process,” and the author will almost certainly be notified of the rejection within a few days.
This is an optional step that may or may not occur in all journals. The editor looks for peer reviewers for work after it passes the initial screening step. When the status “Reviewer invited” appears in the system, it signifies reviewers have been invited but have yet to accept. The tracking system may display the “Reviewer Invited” status for some time before returning to “With Editor.” This most likely indicates that the peer reviewers have denied the invites, forcing the editor to find new reviewers.
This status indicates that the manuscript is undergoing peer review. Peer reviewers are busy scientists, and peer review is an honorable duty that necessitates a thorough examination and assessment of the paper. As a result, this is perhaps the most time-consuming step in the entire publishing process. Depending on the journal and the topic of study, it can take anywhere from one to four months.
Required Reviews Complete
This status shows that the editorial office has received all of the peer reviews. After reading the reviews, the editor may determine that an extra review is necessary. The status may revert to “Under Review” in such instances. So, don’t be surprised if this happens: the status will change to “Required Reviews Complete” once the additional review is done.
Decision in Process
This indicates that the editor is currently deciding on your article based on the views of peer reviewers as well as his or her own opinion. At this point, the editor may consult the editorial board if necessary. When this status appears, the author is usually notified of the editing judgment within a few days. However, in some unusual circumstances, several weeks pass with this status constantly showing and the author receiving no response. This could happen if the editor is very busy and there are a lot of other papers waiting for their time at his or her table.
This indicates that the author has been asked to make major or small adjustments to the submission in response to reviewer comments and that the submission has now been returned to the author. Depending on the nature of the revisions and the topic of study, the author is usually assigned a deadline of a few weeks to a few months. By writing to the editor ahead of time, the author might request that the deadline be extended. The author must provide a revised article as well as a detailed response to the reviewer’s remarks.
Revisions to the Manuscript
This signifies that the author has submitted a revised version of the document. The document is currently being formatted by the journal.
Author Declines to Revise
This indicates that the author has chosen not to submit a revised version of the work by clicking on an action link. In other words, the author is unwilling to make the requested changes and wants to withdraw his or her manuscript.
If an author decides to withdraw his/her paper, the process is complete once the the editor approves author’s withdrawal request. Remember that before sending your article to another journal, withdrawal an e-mail from the editor is required; otherwise, it may be considered a duplicate or simultaneous submission.
If the author has made the suggested revisions, the manuscript’s final decision could be “accept” or “reject”. The paper may be rejected if the editor is not happy with the amendments. This indicates that the editor has made a final decision to reject the manuscript regarding the author’s modifications.
This status shows that the editor is pleased with the author’s edits and has reached a final acceptance decision.
I hope this clarifies some of the differences between the different statuses on a journal article tracking system for authors. However, keep in mind that not all journals will exhibit the same or all of the above statuses. Some journals, on the other hand, may display a few statuses that aren’t included in this list.