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I had a situation much like this. Also been there 14 months. I had my famous adviser write to the editor. Within 2 hours I had a RandR. I would get somebody with more creed to write to the editor. The email my adviser sent just said, "My student has been waiting a long time. And would very much appreciate a verdict on her paper." My paper was accepted after I revised it. And in every email after that point the editor was over the top apologetic. SMH.


Seems to me there are multiple possibilities for what's going on. One could be that the report is a borderline case; maybe it recommends R&R, but with serious enough concerns that the editor can't decide how likely it is to be publishable after revisions, and so can't decide whether it warrants an R&R or just a rejection.

Another possibility is that the report is straightforwardly positive, but the editor is for whatever reason unconvinced. I've had two positive reports where I still had to excise a section of the paper (one that I liked!) because the editor wasn't on board.

Pendaran Roberts

I agree with Marcus that it's best the avoid these types of situations by having firm policies. I've never let a paper sit past 6 months. This has worked well for me.

However, now that you've let it sit an eternity it's hard to know how to advise you, especially as you've been told the editor is working on a decision.

I guess give it a few weeks, then email with a conditional withdraw. Explain your situation. Be stern but don't be rude (although some people think being stern is being rude). Say that you just can't let the paper sit indefinitely at said journal, and that if you don't receive a verdict within x days/weeks, the editor should consider the paper withdrawn.

Then just wait whatever amount of time you specified, then if you haven't heard, you can simply submit the paper to another journal.

I use this conditional withdraw method at journals that refuse to respond to emails. I simply will not tolerate the silence treatment that too journals employ.

Jonathan Birch

Withdraw the paper, name and shame the journal. Information about how journals treat authors is really valuable and should be shared more widely.

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