Q&A I: Authors, Submission and Peer-Review

We always enjoy opportunities to get direct face-to-face feedback from authors and readers, and the recent open access week was an excellent opportunity. We were asked a number of interesting questions that we thought would merit a wider audience. This post kicks off a short series including a selection of the best questions. We are always happy to receive feedback and answer any questions authors or readers might have about MDPI’s editorial process. You can now give us feedback at any point via https://www.mdpi.com/feedback/send.  The following covers questions about authors, submission and peer-review.


Q. What is the purpose of recommending reviewers when submitting a manuscript? Will excluded reviewers be invited during the peer-review process?

A. Authors are experts in the field, so are aware of suitable potential reviewers and can make excellent recommendations. However, we carry out a thorough check on all reviewers—recommended by authors or otherwise—including that the email address provided is a valid one. We reserve the right to invite excluded reviewers, however we will respect the authors’ choice wherever possible and only invite them in very exceptional circumstances.


Q. Is there any difference between reports from reviewers recommended by the authors and reviewers recommended by MDPI internal editor?

A. The reports are treated the same, however we always try to obtain at least one review report from a reviewer not recommended by the authors.


Q. Can authors access a review report as soon as it is received, before a decision is made?

A. To save the efforts of authors we only provide review reports after receiving all reports and making a decision. It may be that a review report is deemed unsuitable or that the paper is directly rejected, in which case the authors may have started to respond to a report unnecessarily. The assistant editor handling the paper will also check for comments that disclose the reviewers’ identity before sending the review to authors.


Q. Can reviewers see the comments of other reviewers?

A. Yes, but only after they have submitted their report. Any reviewer can also choose to hide their comments from other reviewers, however the majority don’t take this option.


Q. How do you deal with conflicting review reports, one which says the English is fine and another that says extensive English editing is required?

A. MDPI carries out English editing of all accepted manuscripts during the production process. In a small number of cases we charge an additional fee for extensive English editing (you can see full details at https://www.mdpi.com/about/apc). If you are unsure, please contact the assistant editor handling your manuscript who will be able to advise whether your paper will be charged and can ask our English editing department for an expert opinion.


Q. How do you set the APC of a journal?

A. We aim for all of our journals to cover their costs. However, we recognize that authors are not willing to pay as much for new journals and find difficulty in raising funds in certain fields, such as social sciences and humanities. Therefore, we set a price that balances the cost of maintaining the journal, the editorial process and production against the ability and willingness of authors to pay. Our aim is to offer authors value for money, and our revenue per paper is substantially lower than that of traditional, subscription-based publishers.

Posted in Interview, Journals, Open Access Publishing, Peer-Review and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Pingback: Q&A Feedback: Part III | MDPI Blog

  2. Hello Suresh. ‘Pending review’ means that we are looking for suitable reviewers and the paper will be sent out for peer review soon.

    • Hello Delphin. This means that an editorial decision will be made soon. This could be, for example, once we have received enough review reports to decide whether or not to accept a paper.

  3. Hello,

    I was wondering what is the average time when my manuscript status show “Pending editor decision”?

    Thank you,

    • Hello Vahid. Editors are busy people, they can usually make decisions within a few days but sometimes there is a delay or they need an additional opinion and it can take longer. You can email the Assistant Editor handling your paper for an update if you are experiencing a delay.

    • Hello,

      Thanks for your question. No, it means it is being checked by the academic editor and internal editors, previous peer review.

  4. Hello
    I was wondering what is the average time the manuscript status shows “Pending review”?

    Thank you

    • Hello Avin,

      We normally give the authors a reply within 3 days after submission. There are different reasons why a manuscript may be held in “Pending review”, some examples are: some issues need to be addressed by the authors, or we are waiting for the academic editor to pre-check it. Either way, we communicate its status to the authors at all times and are happy to reply to any questions.

    • Hello, thank you for your question. It depends on the article, topic and other factors. We try to get a first decision based on the review report in less than 20 days.


    • Hello! It means that another reviewer is needed to make the first decision. Probably requested by the academic/guest editor.

  5. How many days does it take for the status to change from “Under Review”? Is it usual that it is almost a month (precisely 27 days) from the date of submission and the status is still “Under Review”?

    • Hello! That does depend on external factors too. Under review means that the manuscript is currently going through the peer-review process, which depends on the availability of the reviewers to provide the reports. We recommend checking with the assistant editor for more details.

      Best regards,
      MDPI Team

  6. I have submitted my manuscript to one of your journals and it rejected with the editor before it sent for peer review
    The reason for rejection is general:
    ” we will not be able to process your submission further. Submissions sent for peer-review are selected on the basis of discipline, novelty……….”
    I want to know if I can resubmission it to another journal in mdpi with lower impact factor

    • Hello! In principle, there is no problem with submitting it to another journal. We would suggest to check it with the editorial office of the second journal.

      Best regards,
      MDPI Team

  7. How long does it take for a status to change from “Under Review”? Is it usual that the status shows “Under Review” even after 27 days post submission date?

    • Hello Ana. The status under review means that the manuscript is in the peer-review process. We cannot say how long it will take because it depends on external factors too. Our suggestion is to ask the assistant editor for more details if needed.

      Best regards,
      MDPI Team

    • Hello, that is the final step previous publication. Sometimes it is skipped so the PDF version is quickly available online, and later on the full-text online version is uploaded.

  8. Dear MDPI team

    Is it accepted when Editor ask minor Revisions in Sustainability? Thank you. How many time from the pending editor Decision to be accepted and published? Thank you.

    • Hello! No, it is not accepted yet. Those minor revisions should be addressed and approved by the academic editor. It’s hard to say how long it would take as it also depends on the availability of the editor.

  9. Is it possible to be accepted and published a manuscript in 15 days? If the first decision of minor revisions is in 7 days for Sustainability.

  10. Dear MDPI team

    How many days after we sent the proofread version to be published In Sustainability?

    • Hello,

      That usually takes some days, please note that it may take longer due to the festive season.


  11. Dear MDPI team

    The result of the first round of peer review was ‘major revision’ and the result of the second round was ‘minor revision’ and all reviewers report form is “YES (x)” Currently, my revised manuscript is in the ‘Pending Decision (almost 3 days)’ As the second round was completed rapidly, I assumed the ‘Pending Decision’ would be rapid too. Usually how long does it take for ‘Pending Editor Decision’? I am really worrying! How many days after I can request from assistant editor to update us?

    • Hello,

      The decision is made by an external academic editor that evaluates the article and reviewers’ reports. She/he might be busy, but I am sure will provide a final decision soon. You can request information from your assistant editor at any time.


  12. After the Third round review first, two are major and the third is minor now my stats shows Pending editor decision since last three days . How long it takes the final result ?

  13. Hello Mdpi team
    Does the first decision comes within 15 days as written on Sustainability’s home page?
    Also, if there are no revisions or minor revisions, then can paper be published within a week, after author sends back the paper after doing revision?

  14. We have submitted to Molecules with an average time to decision of 12 days. But our manuscript is under review for 30 days. Why this ? Thank you

    • Hello! Yes, that’s the average time, however, each case is different. Your article is probably under evaluation by reviewers. You may refer to the assistant editor to get more information on the exact status of your manuscript.


  15. Hello MDPI team
    I want to know that how we can withdraw our submitted manuscript. the current status of manuscript is pending review.

    • Hello, you can withdraw your manuscript by contacting the assistant editor that is assigned to it.

      MDPI Team

  16. Greetings

    I got an article set in peer review in Universe, on February 6. In round one ,I got two reviews, one very bad and one very good

    My assistant editor arranged for an additional reviewer to enter, with a third review report
    This was of February 17 or so

    Since then the manuscript is stuck in Pending decision

    Assistant editors have a very hard time at it, and I tried to not bother my assistant editor with nonsense

    What I am bothered by is that my manuscript is stuck with “decision pending” day after day

    I am inclined to write my assistant editor this Friday to ask for clarification

    Or is this out in left field and I should just shut up and wait ? I think the Pending decision means an academic editor has to make a final call.

    Or again, am I missing the point ?

    • Hello,

      Yes, that’s correct. Your article is being evaluated by an academic editor and they will provide you with a response soon. However, please do not hesitate to ask your assistant editor for more information, they will be happy to provide it.

      Best regards,
      MDPI Team

  17. Dear MDPI Team,
    I am currently doing English Editing using the services of MDPI. My manuscript is in the last revision to the grammar issue. I have paid for the service on February 22, 2021. The process is two days and should be February 24, 2021, has ended. However, I have not received a reply from the MDPI English Editing team, and I see the status is “pending”, and the status of the manuscript is English Pre-editing. Thanks

    • Hello,

      Have you heard back from the English editing team already? If not, let us know your ID so we can check it.

  18. My manuscript is under pending review and i have not been assigned any editor to communicate yet. its been 2 days .

    What can be the possible reason?

    • Hello,

      That’s strange. Could you please provide your manuscript ID so we can check internally?

      MDPI Team

  19. Hello MDPI Team:

    A few days ago, I submitted and paper. After major revisions that were answered correctly, it passed to the “Pending editor decision” state the same day that the answers were sent. However, its status continues showing “Pending editor decision” four days later.

    How much time does the Editor usually take to give the final decision?

    Is the described situation normal after the quick change to “Pending editor decision” after submitting the answers to the major revisions?

    Thank you so much for your attention


    • Hello Lucas,

      Yes, that is normal. The paper is now being evaluated by the academic editor. We hope we can provide a final decision soon.

      Best regards,
      MDPI Team

  20. I have submitted my manuscript 2 days ago and status is under pending review but i have not been assigned any editor to communicate yet. What can be the possible reason?

  21. Hello MDPI Team.

    My manuscript was published, however, I noticed an error in the citation of a co-author in the PDF, which procedure to perform for the correction?

    • Hello, please contact the assistant editor assigned to your manuscript. She/he will guide you.

      Best regards,

  22. The status of my manuscript on the second day after submission is “under r”, what is mean by it?

  23. Hello Dear MDPI Team.

    I have been sent the revised manuscript on 7 March and still pending editor decision.
    How much time does the Editor usually take to give the final decision?

    • Hello Salah,

      That depends on the availability of the academic editor that needs to make the decision.


  24. Hello Dear MDPI team,

    I have submitted my manuscript 2 days ago (No. ijms-1175489) and status is under pending review but i have not been assigned any editor to communicate yet.

    On the day of submission, we realized that we had chosen an inappropriate special issue. We have contacted the editorial office (ijms@mdpi.com) twice asking how to solve (Should we resubmit the manuscript? Or maybe you could help modify the information in your system?), but no response by now.

    What can be the possible reason?

    • Hello, the assistant editor assigned to your manuscript will help you relocate it.

      Best regards,

  25. Hi. I just wanna know if weekends are counted on the average day of submission to first decission.

  26. Hi our paper submitted to a special issue then passed major then minor revisions but now the guest editor decided to shift it outside the special issue, I do not know the review process will start from zero or what

    • Hello! The peer review process will not start from zero. The reports will be probably sent to another academic editor to evaluate its suitability for publication.

  27. What is the next step/status after “under review”? And how long does it usually take to complete the review process?

    • Hello! The next step is that the reports are sent to you for revision. It usually takes between 2-3 weeks until we get at least two review reports.

      Best regards,

  28. I have submitted my manuscript 2 days ago and status is under pending review, and I haven’t been contacted by any assistant editor. I want to know how long it takes to the next stage?

    • Hello! It should not take much longer. If after 2 more days the status remains the same please contact the editorial office.

      Best regards,

  29. I submitted my manuscript last manusript last March 19. The status has shifted from pending review to under review. However, it has been 24 days and the status has not changed. From the journal page the submission to first decision is 14 days. Any help?

    • Hello Marsha,

      The timing reflected on the journal page is average, but each article is different and depends on the availability of reviewers and academic editors to evaluate the manuscript.

      Best regards,

  30. I submitted my manuscript two days ago, but it is still in the state of peer review. Due to some grammatical problems in my cover letter, I resubmitted the cover letter to the editorial department but received no reply.

    • Hello, you will probably receive a response very soon. If that does not happen then I suggest to contact the editorial office (cc the managing editor).

      best regards,

  31. Hello. I just want to know, if my paper is accepted today, how long does it take for it to be published?

  32. Hi! My manuscript has been in “pending conversion” status for a day now. How long does it usually take for it to be finalized?

  33. Hi, I submitted my manuscript to a SI for which I’m serving as guest editor last April, 29th, 2021. Its status is “pending review” and I’ve been not contacted by any AE yet. Is this normal? How long does this stage take normally? Thanks for your reply. Kind regards

    • Hello, it might take a few days until your manuscript is finally assigned to an assistant editor. If it is not assigned yet I recommend to get in contact with the editorial office.

      MDPI team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *