# A paper in review for 3+ years with no feedback

1. Top Mathematician
jwyk

I submitted a paper to a top5 journal. I have sent inquires for a few times, but they told me the paper is still under review. So far I haven’t received any report. What should I do?

1 weekjwyk
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2. Top Mathematician
inaj

Nothing you can do.

1 weekinaj
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3. Top Mathematician
ombn

Now you know not to send a paper there again

1 weekombn
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4. Top Mathematician
wldw

You might have more luck talking to the editors directly or through a different channel. But really if a referee takes very long, there's not much that you or the editors can do about it other than send it to someone else when they stop replying.

1 weekwldw
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5. Top Mathematician
leeu

You might have more luck talking to the editors directly or through a different channel. But really if a referee takes very long, there's not much that you or the editors can do about it other than send it to someone else when they stop replying.

There are chances the paper will be accepted

1 weekleeu
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6. Top Mathematician
tukr

I submitted a paper to a top5 journal. I have sent inquires for a few times, but they told me the paper is still under review. So far I haven’t received any report. What should I do?

If you send the paper to a top-5 journal, clearly it's an important piece of work which warrants a thorough review. Since the paper is being reviewed (instead of sitting on the desk of editor gathering dust), I would say there's nothing wrong with that.

1 weektukr
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7. Top Mathematician
uqzs

You can email the editor that you haven't gotten feedback in three years, but there's nothing else you can do.

Let me tell you my experience. I submitted a paper to a top 5 journal and it took me about 2.5 years to get the first report. Of course, I was a little nervous, but I wasn't too worried because I knew that the research was important in my field and I also knew that the experts in my field thought positively about it. Take pride in the fact that you did good research.

1 weekuqzs
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8. Top Mathematician
jkcu

You can always unsubmit the paper. Check on AS (Stanford) webpage.

1 weekjkcu
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9. Top Mathematician
tubu

You can always unsubmit the paper. Check on AS (Stanford) webpage.

Who’s AS?

1 weektubu
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10. Top Mathematician
jkcu

You can always unsubmit the paper. Check on AS (Stanford) webpage.

Who’s AS?

You know, the Selmer groups guy.

1 weekjkcu
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11. Top Mathematician
gddj

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

1 weekgddj
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12. Top Mathematician
ynyn

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

Ass

1 weekynyn
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13. Top Mathematician
ombn

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

You're getting downvoted but your sentiment is right. It really is thankless work. Imagine if some of that money journal publishers get was allocated towards the peer reviewers who play a big role in making that possible.

1 weekombn
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14. Top Mathematician
mafu

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

I bet you push hard at hiring committee meetings for the juniors with no published papers, only preprints, right? Right?

1 weekmafu
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15. Top Mathematician
jwfz

the funny part is that I was on ejmr the other day arguing that professors didnt really have a boss and some guy kept telling me that reviewers were bossing around professors. ljl. You're literally working for us by being a reviewer.

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

1 weekjwfz
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16. Top Mathematician
bpto

If the paper contains a result with a sound claim and if the arguments are very intricate and technical, the editors may look for someone who confirms the correctness, and this may be done after the quick opinions and the standard reports, which may recommend the paper without hard checking of details, pressing the editor into further review. Then it can be hard to find a willing reviewer, and the manuscript ends up with a busy serious person who will take some time to do the job. In such situations the whole process can easily take more than 3 years. By the description, this could be your case, so let them finish their job, if the proofs are correct, there is a decent probability that your paper will be accepted. But its not a sure thing, it may also be the case of some unclear or hesitating opinion requiring a final adjudicator. Good luck!

1 weekbpto
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17. Top Mathematician
svao

I am not surprised. No one wants to work for free. I have stopped accepting offers to referee papers, and I only upload to the arXiv now so I expect no one to referee my papers. No more time for this nonsense

Few people can afford doing it this way, but one should say that this position is fair, since it's not contributing to the increasing deficit of the system.

This is actually something worth discussing, since the current situation is on the verge of rupture. Some people support the reviewing system at the expense of their own work. Others take advantage of it by only publishing and don't review at all and may receive huge gains from this attitude, in the modern competitive publications based system. The worse thing is that it is close to impossible to identify who is creating the deficit and who is reducing it, given that reviewers receive requests from many different editors, and editors end up with no valid sample to distinguish between the two groups.

My perception is that this is leading to increasing quality of reviews in specialized journals and reducing quality of reviews in generalistic journals, even in those of top, since it is easier to decline or do a less careful work for someone from a different field, even if that someone is some Fields level editor in a top journal, rather than declining or do a less careful work for a close editor who puts a lot of energy in managing the science of our primary interests. But this is a very individual perspective. Different people in different fields may develop different perceptions.

Going back to the deficit, there is no science here. To have a positive contribution one should do a few more reviews than one receives from own submissions. To be neutral, one should do at least the same number. This would be equivalent to the above privileged situation of simply posting to arXiv and don't do any review at all.

1 weeksvao
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18. Top Mathematician
rhzh

it is only interesting to suppport the system if the systems supports you

if you work several days/week on a report for someone's paper, but then receive a feedback on your own paper "Your paper is not good enough" (without further explanation) after 1 year of consideration, you should ask youself many questions

pesonally, I continue to review 5-6 papers per year, but if my submission is rejected somewhere, I put that journal on my personal black list for 10 years and do not react to any request

1 weekrhzh
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19. Top Mathematician
ptkm

In these cases I always send the editor a caustic email because it makes me feel better for a few minutes.

1 weekptkm
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20. Top Mathematician
ionq

it is only interesting to suppport the system if the systems supports you

if you work several days/week on a report for someone's paper, but then receive a feedback on your own paper "Your paper is not good enough" (without further explanation) after 1 year of consideration, you should ask youself many questions

pesonally, I continue to review 5-6 papers per year, but if my submission is rejected somewhere, I put that journal on my personal black list for 10 years and do not react to any request

That’s a great idea!

1 weekionq
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