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I would reach out using university email, making it very clear that you understand that this is am imposition and that your previous two emails sent a month a part through the system seem as if they may have gotten lost. I've had papers at a journal where the person in charge had to leave for medical reasons and my paper fell through the cracks.

The other thing you could do is see if you have a senior friend who knows the managing editor and could check in with them just to see if the system is working as it should. A nudge from a friend might be better received than a cold email from a junior person. Good luck!


Absolutely use the managing editor's university e-mail. I have done this, and it has helped.

(In one case where I did this, the journal's internal system turned out to be sending emails to a temporary employee whose contract had run out a while ago.)

Now That Piece Is Published

I have also had to email the managing editor's university email. I wouldn't go that route lightly, but also I didn't feel the least bit bad about it when I did it.


Use the managing editor's email. I have had serious problems contacting through the submission system before: I realized I submitted a manuscript with some uncorrected errors so I emailed using the online system to try and redact the submission before it got sent out (I did this a few hours after submission). I got no response so the next day I sent another email through the system with an amended manuscript. Still no response. I wait a month and try again. No response. Wait another month, no response. So instead I email the printing department, and they forward it to the person in charge of submissions. The person in charge of submissions contacts the referee they have sent the paper to (despite all my earlier emails) who agrees to look at an amended manuscript. I send the amended manuscript. A week later I get another email requesting the amended manuscript. I send it again. A month later I receive a negative referee report which, from the looks of it, was based on the original manuscript I tried to redact within hours of sending it.

I'm not sure that emails messages sent via the online system ever actually go anywhere.


Wondering what people think about a slightly different experience I'm currently having: I submitted a paper July 2021, to a journal which uses Research Square. According to Research Square, reviews were returned in October 2021, but we've had no communication about a decision.

I've gone through the journal's submission system twice now. Unlike the OP, I have had responses: but both have been essentially form responses from an administrator (paraphrasing: 'Your submission is under review and we will notify you when a decision has been reached'). I would like a slightly more contentful response than that, but I'm aware that everyone has been struggling with workload, and so maybe I'm being unreasonable. Would it be inappropriate to politely contact the editor using their institutional email at this point (or, say, after another month)?


@ Ben: Would it be the case where two reviews are split and the editor is looking for a third reviewer? I had a similar experience with Research Square. I could see that reviews were returned but was wondering what's going on. It turned out that the editor sent out several invitations to review and it took quite a time.


@Ben, Research Square can be misleading. In several cases it said "reviews received" where what seems to have happened is that a reviewer accepted the invitation to review. I would trust the journal's system more. What does it say there? If it's one of those journals with relatively detailed status updates and it says "under review" then it's probably still with reviewers.


Thanks RS and ehz - yeah, it just says 'under review' on the journal system, though I don't know how detailed the updates get since I've not submitted here before. Shame about Research Square, since it's a nice idea in theory to have info about several different submissions in one place; but if it's not accurate/informative, then that's unhelpful.

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