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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Decision sent to author

The moment I saw "Decision sent to author" phrase occupying the status line of Manuscript Tracking System page of Nature yesterday, I knew there was something wrong. Nothing else was said, decision was actually sent to the corresponding author.

This meant that Dr. Vicki L. Colvin, my advisor, got the email. She was out of town and away from her email, and so I was from the decision.

Then I typed the exact words into Google and added "nature" also to the search box to get the junk out. Only 4 results came up and all of them were Chinese. I used the translate this page button for each of them and barely understood the conversations of chinese scientists on their forums.

This really was frustrating. You know some decision is made and you cannot know what it is. It definitely drives you crazy.

Then I thought to call someone who would know. I called Dr. Doug Natelson and Dr. Nuh Gedik, both of whom had experience with these kinds of things. At least more than I did.

My conversations with them gave me these scenarios when someone sees "decision sent to author" message after 9 days of submitting a manuscript to Nature:

1. It hasn't been long enough for acceptance so it's probably rejected.
2. It may not be totally rejected, maybe they want to make sure on something.
3. There are major issues with the data and if you can make it clear they will reconsider.
4. It's dead completely, don't even consider resubmitting.

It is not the end of it, I was told. If we were to bring someone that would weigh in on the submission, it may be reversed. But this could only be used where rejection was not easy for the editor.

UPDATE: Today, I got the actual email. It said something about the practical aspect was ok but not the "new scientific insights" that our paper was bringing. So, they had to reject.

Well. We'll find some place else to publish. But for those who are searching for that phrase: Don't crack up wondering what happened to your manuscript. It's rejected.

47 comments:

  1. I nearly say myself in this scenario! thanks a lot for the post. Let´s to submit to another journal! unfortunately....

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  2. Yup, "Decision Sent" means "Rejected" in Nature Journals. However, speaking from personal experience, I don't necessarily read Nature, I read whatever articles come up on Google or SciSearch that I can actually download (depends on your institution's subscriptions). And those are the articles that I cite. So who knows, maybe at some point in the future, content will weigh heavier than clout.

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  3. If you see: 'Decision sent to author' and immediately also a 'waiting for revision', then they have invited you to revise; or sometimes, they have accepted your paper in principle and want to tidy up.

    On final acceptance, it goes:

    Manuscript under consideration -> Manuscript under Editorial Consideration -> Decision sent to author -> Manuscript accepted
    all in one date and time mark.

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    Replies
    1. Boss, you are confusing the potential aspirants of Nature ! If the three status come on a single date with same time stamp , e.g., Manuscript under consideration -> Manuscript under Editorial Consideration -> Decision sent to author. THIS MEANS 200 % Rejection...!!

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  4. status of our ms. was showing both "Manuscript under consideration" and "Editor assigned" for roughly one month. Today status changed:
    Manuscript under consideration -> Manuscript under Editorial Consideration

    Should I consider this as positive/negative shift?

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  5. I don't think it means anything. I would expect to hear something soon though.

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  6. Well... thanks for this post. "decision sent to author' it says also on my submission page and can't get hold of my boss.
    at least I know now what to expect...

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  7. The funny thing is that I just saw the "Manuscript under editorial consideration" status line, googled the phrase to see what it meant, got to this page, and then when I went back and refreshed my Nature status page I got the "Decision sent to author" line. Sure enough, the paper didn't get in. At least they were quick about it ;)

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  8. Our manuscript is sent out for peer review (Nat. Materials) more two months ago.
    Until now I am still waiting for the final decision (acceptance or revision or rejection). Is it normal to wait so long? I saw on nature website that the reviewers are usually requested to return the paper within 14 days.

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  9. I saw the same series of events, Submitted to Nature Immunology. It was Manuscript under consideration to "sent out to review" and then 3 weeks later back to manuscript under consideration (2 days) and today i saw "Manuscript under editorial consideration" that quickly changed to "Decision Sent to Author". I am already disappointed at least will be little less when my adviser forwards me the reviews.

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  10. In case of Nature, it will show "waiting for revision" after "decision sent to author" after initial submission, if they allow you to respond to referees or want you to make formal chances. So "waiting for revision" is what would make you happy in case of an initial submission, "decision sent to author" probably means you got rejected.

    At final acceptance, it will just show "decision sent to author", but this is *very* unlikely to happen at initial submission. They'll (almost) always require at least some format changes.

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  11. I've submitted my paper to Nature more than 2 months ago, and it still has "Manuscript under consideration". Does that happen often?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sasha
      Did you paper eventually get accepted? Was it actually under review when the status said "under consideration?"
      Thanks a lot.

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    2. And what happened after that ?

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  12. Sasha: It is very likely that they are seriously considering it.

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    Replies
    1. My Manuscript in Nature Material is under consideration from last 11 days. What should it means?

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  13. What does "Wait for Revision" means??????? I am really clueless, i have never seen such a status. Can anyone explain.

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    Replies
    1. I also meet this status today and I'll let you know what will happen later on

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  14. A blank status apparently also means that the manuscript will not be sent out for review. Fun!

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  15. after about three weeks 'under review', and one week 'under consideration', my status said: "manuscript under editorial consideration", followed by a blank status, and 'decision sent to author'.

    what does this means???

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  16. What about "Decision Made"? I got it few days back and the status is still not changed! Do you know what does this mean?

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  17. Many thanks for the post. It's been almost 2 weeks now (and counting) since we submitted our manuscript to Nature Chemistry. The status still reads "manuscript under consideration". Bodes well that it wasn't rejected outright. Guess I should be counting my blessings that I still haven't heard from them. Never thought I'd say that, though! :P

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  18. "Decision sent to author" after a week of submission means manuscript has been rejected, I have had first hand experience (twice)!

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  19. My paper has been at "Manuscript under editorial consideration" since yesterday (upon initial submission). Does that mean it's a rejection?

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  20. It is funny how so many people actually see/go through those Nature group's manuscript tracking system pages yet when you google "RTA-OD" to see what actually their decision means, there are almost no relevant pages coming up and exactly no pages with the exact phrase in it!

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  21. Hi everyone one, I sent a paper to NSMB and I read "Manuscript under editorial consideration" then immediatly "Manuscript under consideration", does anybody know if it's a good or bad news?
    Thks!

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  22. My article status is showing 'Manuscript is under consideration'. In between they asked to change few picture formats several time(under the same status). Can any one explain the chance of acceptance?

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  23. Is it normal "Manuscript under consideration" for 40 days in NP?
    Why they don't give any message for the next progress?
    Should I prepare for another?

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  24. I have submitted an article to Nature Comm. After 2 weeks of submission, it is still showing manuscript under consideration, what does that mean??

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  25. I have submitted an article to nature comm. after 2 weeks the status still says manuscript under consideration, what does that mean??

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  26. who cares.. Most nature journals are highly 'lobbied' and 'politicized' by professional robbers.. Getting through isn't tough, unless you decide to become one!

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  27. 3 weeks after initial submission to Nature, yhd status has not changed from 'manuscript under consideration'. Aby chance it is out for review?

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    Replies
    1. May I ask what happened? I am also at the situation. Thank you in advance.

      Delete
  28. Manuscript under submission> 4 days later Manuscript received> 1 day later editor assigned and Manuscript under consideration > 6 days later Decision sent to author
    Note: This an invited nature paper. Can anyone help what this means ? Should i be worried ?

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  29. Manuscript under submission> 4 days later Manuscript received> 1 day later editor assigned and Manuscript under consideration > 6 days later Decision sent to author
    Note: This an invited nature paper. Can anyone help what this means ? Should i be worried ?

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  30. Manuscript received > 1 day later Manuscript under consideration > same day Editor assigned> 6 days later decision sent to author .... What does this mean ? Should i be worried ?

    P.S. This is an invited nature letter

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  31. Manuscript has been "under consideration" at Nature Materials for about 3 weeks now. An outright editor reject typically takes less, from previous experience. How likely is it to still be rejected by the editor after 3-4 weeks? Also, anyone consider emailing the editor for an update? Somehow that seems like waking a slumbering dragon, and I am content with the uncertainty for now...

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  32. what does RTA in decision of nature journal means

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  33. What does "decision made" means?? I am really worry, i have never seen such a status. Can anyone help?

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  34. my manuscript was submitted to Nature 6 days ago and it still has a status: Manuscript under consideration. Should I be worried?

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  35. We submitted a paper to Scientific Reports about one month ago and after the initial "manuscript submitted" and "manuscript assigned to editor/peer-review" after the first two or three days, it appeared again "manuscript assigned to peer-review", "manuscript assigned to editor" and a last "manuscript submitted" (?) about five days ago. And now the status is "decision started" and it does not changes since then... I don't know what to think! Maybe they've just messed up with the uploading of files or something... Any idea?

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  36. I do not know. I guess it should be the status "sent out to review".

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  37. Check this out : it explains the entire process in detail http://218.199.76.29/xxfw/SCIzx/Document/249/Image/20101012249_5.pdf

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  38. It's been 20 days that I've submitted a paper to Sci Rep and the current stage is still "Manuscript Submitted". Does it mean that it hasn't been still assigned to any reviewers?

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  39. I recently got my decision from Nature:
    The status went first like this:
    Manuscript received >> under editorial consideration >> Blank
    And then I got a suggestion to send it to another Nature journal and I did so.

    This time it went for review and it went like this:
    Manuscript received >> under editorial consideration >> Under consideration >> Under editorial consideration >> blank >> decision sent to authors
    And the status is now rejected.

    I got reviews including 2 very disappointing ones:

    Both of these reviewers had only minor comments followed by one major reason why the paper should be rejected.

    One of them simply rejected the paper because he did not read correctly one important part of online method section. He did not understand how the ground truth data was generated!! Consequently, he made lots of false assumptions and claims.

    The other had a non-scientific comment irrelevant to the paper that based on that 99.9% of researches should not be published in any journal.

    It was shocking to see that these expert reviewers had hardly any comments on the scientific merit of the work and simply rejected based of false claims.

    The very dark side about high impact journals: The higher impact the journal the lousier the reviewers!

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    Replies
    1. James: the best way to cope with these is to prepare the next submission while your paper is under review. Then you're ready to shoot and no down time!

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