When the article submission process is completed, the next step is the initial review by the journal editor and then the peer review. You will have to wait for their response during this process. However, in some cases, you may want to withdraw your article. For example, you may want to add important points or revise some parts, or you may want to correct some of the errors you discovered after submitting the article. In these cases, by “withdrawing”, your article will be removed from the review process and its Id number will be completely removed from the journal system.
Another reason for withdrawing an article after its acceptance and before its publication is that the authors become skeptical of the results or find a serious mistake when reviewing the evidence. This error may require deleting the existing data and performing some re-tests. It may also require additional analysis. This seems like extra work, but it can help researchers avoid any future withdrawals.
In addition, when authors do not want to make all research data available to the journal (which is sometimes required by journals) for copyright or commercial purposes, and when they find that they have submitted their article to a potential predatory journal, authors can withdraw their article. There are non-professional reasons for withdrawing an article from the journal, such as “not knowing the cost of publication”, or just wanting to submit to journals with higher impacts.
The last reason for withdrawing is a long peer-review process. This is not a black and white issue. However, in some journals, the editor may not have sent your paper for review even after 1-3 months or a peer reviewer might fail to submit their report even after 4-6 months. It does not seem right.
Tips for Manuscript Withdrawal
Ethics in time and publication are two factors that should guide your actions during the withdrawal of an article. The sooner you act, the better the result for everyone. In a scientific journal, a scientific editor can review your article. To make it easier, it is helpful to provide facts for clear communication.
First, try the easiest way to withdraw an article which is to do it online through the journal submission system. The journal site may have a section entitled “withdrawing the article” or similar options. However, this option may not be available in many journals. For example, the widely used ScholarOne Manuscripts system does not seem to offer the option of online article withdrawal.
If this option does not work, immediately contact the editor in charge of article submission or the journal’s editorial office. Write a clear, concise letter signed by all the authors, explaining the description of the article and the reason(s) for withdrawing it. Often in the process of online article submission, there is a direct “Contact Editor” link or you can search for their email through the website. In some journals, it may not be necessary to provide a full explanation for the withdrawal of the article.
There is a big difference between requesting an article withdrawal within one week of submission and during or after the review process. In the first case, there should be no problem. The latter case is more complicated, if not impossible! Because the journal may forbid it, so you should explicitly provide scientific reasons to prevent any misbehavior.
At best you should receive a thank you letter. This may confirm the withdrawal or ask you for more scientific reasons to judge the matter. In the latter case, cooperation and timely response are important.
Make sure you do not submit your paper to more than one scientific journal at a time. This is an ethical standard of publication. Article withdrawal simply because it has been accepted elsewhere earlier is unethical. However, what do you do if you do not receive a response even after multiple requests? This time, write a letter to the editor-in-chief outlining your plans for reviewing the article and then proceed to submit the article to another journal after approval.
Most journals are not interested in article withdrawal. This is costly for them and the author may be fined for it. The fine, depending on the journal, can range from 200 to 1,000 dollars. However, this information must be transparent and clearly stated on the journal’s policy webpage. If the authors of the article withdraw it for unethical reasons, journals can also blacklist the author and other co-authors for future publications.
Keep track of all email correspondence with the journal publisher when planning to withdraw your article. To avoid such situations and penalties, spend more time reviewing the article before submission.
Have you ever faced such a situation? Please share your experience and thoughts with us in the comments section below!