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Anonymous Editor

I have been a handling editor for a scholar one journal, so perhaps I can help a little. If my experience is anything to go by, a paper is only classed as awaiting recommendation once the handling editor has received all of the referee reports they initially asked for in order to reach a verdict on the manuscript. In the journal I worked with, papers at the stage prior to this were described as 'awaiting referee reports', but perhaps some journals use the term 'awaiting decision' to refer to papers that still have outstanding referee reports (at my journal, in order to read a referee report, I have to click a link to the referee's 'decision') Alternatively, perhaps at the journal in question, the awaiting recommendation status means that the handling editor has reached a verdict on the paper, but this needs to be signed off by the Editor in chief who makes the final 'recommendation'

Based on my own experience, I would probably suggest the former is slightly more likely. However, different journals use different terminology and have different approaches to editorial decision-making, so take this with a pinch of salt. Essentially though, if I'm right, it means that the change in status means that you are now waiting on an editor to deliver a verdict, as opposed to waiting on referee reports. However, if the status changes back to awaiting decision again, then this would suggest that the editor has asked for further reviews.

I'm sorry I can't be more concrete, but I hope you get a decision soon!


Ambrose if you don't mind sharing, I'm curious how your whole future could depend on this paper? Tenure is the only thing I could think of.


Thanks. That's very considerate. I'm less stressed now. (A bit more despair helps :))

Anonymous Editor,
Thanks to you too. That's helpful and vaguely reassuring. In fact the status has changed a few times since then. From 'Awaiting Decision' to 'Awaiting Recommendation' then back to 'Awaiting Referee Assignment'. I've given up trying to figure it out. Fingers crossed.

It's not tenure. Kind of a long story. But I'll just say it's roughly similar to what would happen if your tenure clock was running out and this one thing was make-or-break.


So has anyone else developed email anxiety? I am currently waiting on my second round of revisions on the paper that previously had 6 rounds of revisions and a rejection at another journal. Every morning I get this sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about checking my email, and I often avoid doing it for some time.

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