Peer review process

Submission to First Decision

For scholars and academics, the transition from submitting a research paper to receiving the initial decision is a pivotal moment in one’s academic career.

The question that often lingers is, “What factors influence the timeline from submission to first decision?”

If you want to submit your research paper to a journal and wonder how long it takes to be accepted, we want to help you understand how long the academic paper decision timeline takes.

So, let’s begin!

What is submission to the first decision phase?

The “Submission to First Decision” phase is the critical initial step in the academic publishing process.

It signifies the moment when a researcher or author submits their carefully prepared manuscript to a journal or publication for evaluation.

This stage sets the course for the entire publication path, as it involves a rigorous assessment by peer reviewers and editors.

These experts scrutinize the submission for its quality, originality, methodology, and overall contribution to the field.

The outcome of this phase, the first decision response, can be acceptance, revision, or rejection.

Read More: How many research papers are published every year?

What factors affect the duration of submission to a first decision?

Some important determinants can significantly affect the timeline for your manuscript’s evaluation.

We have listed some of the most important ones below:

Submission to first decision in jorunals
Submission to first decision in jorunals

1.    Complexity & scope of research

The complexity and scope of your research work significantly influence the time it takes for submission to the first decision.

Manuscripts dealing with intricate subject matter, employing advanced methodologies, or presenting extensive datasets may require a longer review period.

Studies related to emerging or highly specialized fields might also need additional scrutiny.

2.    Editorial efficiency

The efficiency and responsiveness of the journal’s editorial team play a substantial role in the academic paper acceptance rate.

Journals with high submission volumes and limited resources may experience longer review times.

In contrast, well-organized editorial boards with sufficient staff can expedite the process.

3.    Availability & engagement of peer reviewers

The speed of peer review largely depends on the availability and willingness of experts in your field to review your work.

The clarity and completeness of your manuscript can also affect the pace of the review process. Inadequate or ambiguous submissions may lead to delays as reviewers seek clarification.

4.    Timing of submission

The timing of your manuscript submission within the journal’s cycle can influence submission to first decision times.

Submitting your work during periods when the journal receives fewer submissions might potentially expedite the review process.

How to reduce the time of submission to a first decision? + Some tips

Many authors often want to optimize the duration of the submission to the first decision phase. This is because they aim to publish their manuscripts as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, there are several practical steps and strategies that authors can employ to reduce the time it takes for their manuscript to undergo evaluation.

·        Careful manuscript preparation

Thoroughly reviewing and editing your manuscript before submission is vital. Ensuring that it adheres to the journal’s guidelines and is free of grammatical and formatting errors can prevent unnecessary delays.

·        Selecting the right journal

Choosing a journal that aligns with your research’s scope and objectives can speed up the review process. Your manuscript is more likely to be a good fit, resulting in quicker evaluations.

·        Prompt responses to editor and reviewer queries

Timely communication is key. When editors or peer reviewers request clarifications or revisions, responding promptly and addressing their concerns can keep the process moving smoothly.

·        Targeted and polite cover letters

Creating a cover letter that clearly conveys the importance and originality of your research can positively influence reviewers. A well-written letter can set a positive tone for the review process.

·        Regularly monitor submission progress.

Stay engaged with the journal’s submission system. Monitoring the progress of your submission and inquiring about delays can help resolve issues swiftly.

Mistakes to avoid during the “Submission to First Decision” phase

As you navigate the path from manuscript submission to first decision, it is equally crucial to be aware of potential missteps that can hinder the process. 

Here are some things you should avoid:

·        Rushing the submission

Haste in submitting your manuscript without meticulous proofreading can lead to avoidable errors that may delay the review process.

·        Ignoring journal guidelines

Failing to adhere to the specific formatting and style guidelines of the target journal can result in immediate rejection or requests for revisions.

·        Inadequate cover letters

A vague or uninformative cover letter can diminish the enthusiasm of reviewers and editors. Ensure your cover letter clearly conveys the significance of your research.

·        Impatience and pressure

Putting undue pressure on the editorial team for a quick decision may be counterproductive. Patience is often required in the peer review process.


Knowing all about the submission to the first decision phase is crucial for researchers seeking timely publication.

When you do best practices and avoid common pitfalls, you will be able to streamline the process and increase their chances of a successful outcome.

What strategies have you found most effective in expediting the submission-to-decision phase? Share your strategy with us in the comments below.

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Hi, my name is Mohammad, and I am currently pursuing my PhD at Istanbul Yildiz University. I have always been deeply passionate about research and academic writing, and this has led me to publish several articles in esteemed journals. Writing has always been my way of expressing my thoughts and ideas, and I take great joy in sharing my experiences and knowledge with others. Being a PhD candidate has allowed me to further explore my interests in the field of research and contribute to the academic community. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and I look forward to continuing my journey in this fascinating field.

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