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Based on my own, not necessarily representative experience:

(1) Editors don't seem to care, and are fine with granting permission to do this.

(2) The referees and editors are much likelier to respond quickly, and to respond in a way that signals genuine understanding, when you submit the R&R on the quicker side.

But as for the OP's particular case - a few days is small enough that it shouldn't make a difference on point (2), so they should just go for the extension.


One thing to possibly worry about is that the journal's management software might close out the submission after the date for the R&R resubmit has passed. I would definitely check in with the journal editorial assistant.


There is a risk that if you do not get the paper in on time, then it will be sent to new referees. Yes! A referee may have agreed to review the paper again, but on the understanding that it will be sent in to the journal in a timely fashion. Get the paper in, or contact the editor.


Just ask again. I don't think there's usually any problem, but like anon said the LMS might lock you out otherwise.


I once was the referee on a R and R that the author submitted well over a year after the decision on the first submission. It was 18 months in total, I think. I was irritated, and so was the editor. There was no due date specified for the revised paper, so it's not like the author did anything wrong in the de jure sense. But in the de facto sense, he or she definitely did something wrong, since it's totally out of keeping with common practice to submit an R and R paper that late. Ultimately, the paper was accepted, but it created extra work for everybody involved because nobody could remember the paper well. So, everybody had to go back and re-familiarize themselves with the paper in much more detail than would have been the case if the author had submitted the R and R within a few months. I tend to think that is the real issue: submitting the R and R within a few months (preferably, within 1.5 months) helps everybody with their workload, because re-familiarizing yourself with a nitty-gritty, dense paper can take a long time, but takes much less time if it is still embedded in your short-term memory. Also, as indicated by others above, you can get stuck with a new referee if you take too long with the R and R. When referees check the box that says they are willing to referee an R and R, they check it on the assumption that the R and R will be submitted in a timely fashion. And, if that assumption doesn't hold when the time comes, then they might just say "no" to the editor when asked to referee the R and R. I personally wouldn't say "no" to the editor in such a case, but I also don't blame the people who do say "no." For this isn't what they were agreeing to when they checked that box.

Anyway, in the OP's case, I seriously doubt that the editor will mind giving another extension of, say, two weeks. Just say you're sorry, and say that you promise you won't ask for a third extension. Then work on the revisions now, and accept that your paper won't be perfect. It doesn't need to be perfect to be accepted.

Assistant Professor

In my experience asking for an R&R extension with editors (and from talking to colleagues who are editors at other journals for their input before I did this) they are understanding. Life happens (especially this year). It helps to name a specific amount of time you need. It probably also helps to make sure that you overestimate that time rather than underestimate so you don't have to go back a second time and ask for a further extension.

A challenge with R&Rs (and proof editing for that matter) is you don't know when they are showing up, and they usually have a relatively quick requested turn around time (more so for proofs) and it can be hard to re-arrange your schedule for them. I have tended to try to communicate when I first receive an R&R (or proof) if I am certain to need more time given other schedule constraints. Usually that is totally fine (say they ask for an 8 week turnaround on an R&R and I request 12 weeks). Same for proofs - if I have said, I can't guarantee by X date by I can by Y date, this is usually fine. In general I think asking for more time early helps it not seem like one simply procrastinated - but I have also asked for an extension days before something was due because of an unexpected family illness that set me back on my ability to work for the few days I planned to wrap something up, and that was fine. I didn't divulge my whole life story - I indicated that an illness came up unexpectedly and I needed an additional week, and it was no problem.

Good luck with the revision!

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