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Other In which cases could the Physics Letters B change reviewers?

  1. Sep 8, 2016 #1
    Hi, everyone,
    I submitted a manuscript to Physics Letters B on about June, 10th. Then received the reply from the editor with two reviewers'comments on July, 15th. Reviewer #1 had some criticle comments on the theory which my paper was based on and gave some advise to me; Reviewer #2 had some positive comments and advice on the details. I resubmitted the revised manuscript ten days later(July, 25th), accompanied by a "list of change" in which I politely refute the Reviewer #1's comments with detailed explanation. Then the Status Date has updated twice, on August, 25th and several days ago, respectively. While the Current Status keeps "Under Review".

    Could someone tell me what happened? Were the reviewers changed? waiting...
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2016 #2


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    July and August are the worst months for reviews, because of summer vacation. The editor could be waiting for the answer of one of the original referees, or has asked for an additional referee.

    By the way, considering you submitted in June, I would say the review process is going quite fast in your case.
  4. Sep 8, 2016 #3


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    Not that I have much experience with that particular journal, but I agree with Dr. Claude. If you heard back in a month, that's a fast turn-around time. Two months or more is the norm in the journals that I deal with.

    It's important to remember all the stuff that goes on in the background once a paper is received. An associate editor has to be assigned to the manuscript, has to read it at least enough to understand what it's about and then decide on who to contact for review. The referees may not always be available either. You can send out a request to review to someone who is on vacation and he or she won't get back to even agree to do the review for a couple of weeks. Sometimes requests are not seen, or even ignored. Then, the referee usually has about two weeks to perform the review, but there is no real consequence for him or her if that deadline is missed. Eventually if it's taking too long, the associate editor can try to send it out to another referee, but normally there is some considerable leeway in the deadline before that happens. And then, when the reviews get back, the associate editor has to review them and decide if they are fair and reasonable. Sometimes he or she will have some additional comments too. And if the review is unfair, it might have to go back out to another reviewer.

    All of this happens on a volunteer basis. From the referee's point of view, a email shows up in your inbox and it's like someone out there in cyberspace has randomly assigned you some work to do. They have no idea if you're sick, on vacation, scrambling to get a grant together, overloaded with teaching responsibilities, or trying to meet deadlines on your own work. Generally referees are well-respected in their field and in most cases they didn't get that way by sitting around with nothing to do. So you can't expect them to drop everything just to review your paper.

    I know it can be hard waiting. But it will come back eventually. It's best to focus on your next project and then deal with the results when they eventually find their way back to you.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  5. Sep 8, 2016 #4
    Choppy and Dr. Claude, thanks for your detailed introduction on the workflow of going over manuscripts. Maybe I was too anxious, it's my second paper in my academic career...I should be more patient.
  6. Sep 8, 2016 #5


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    The time frame is completely within the established norms. The reviewer system sends out automatic "pings" every so often to the reviewers and at some point the editor will intervene, if needed. There is little you can do to move the process along at this juncture.
  7. Sep 8, 2016 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    I looked at my papers: the median time from submission to acceptance for PLB is about 100 days. You've got ~20 to go before you even hit that. Most also have fewer interactions with the referees (their comments are usually addressable in a day) so I would expect yours to be on the longer times.
  8. Sep 9, 2016 #7


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    Yes, I know this. One gets always a bit angry with the reviewers that they take so long to write a report. The perspective completely changes when you yourself have to review a paper...
  9. Sep 9, 2016 #8
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