The journal editor or editorial board considers the feedback provided by the peer reviewers and arrives at a decision. The following are the most common decisions that are made:
- accept without any changes (acceptance): the journal will publish the paper in its original form
- accept with minor revisions (acceptance): the journal will publish the paper and asks the author to make small corrections
- accept after major revisions (conditional acceptance ): the journal will publish the paper provided the authors make the changes suggested by the reviewers and/or editors
- revise and resubmit (conditional rejection): the journal is willing to reconsider the paper in another round of decision making after the authors make major changes
- reject the paper (outright rejection): the journal will not publish the paper or reconsider it even if the authors make major revisions
The first option (accept without any changes) is rare. The second decision (accept with minor revisions) is typically the best outcome authors should hope for. Once a journal rejects a paper outright, authors are well advised not to resubmit to the same journal. If the journal wanted to reconsider the paper, they would have issued a conditional rejection. An outright rejection means that the journal thinks the paper will not meet its publication standards or interests even after heavy revisions.
Generally, after acceptance, it currently takes 1 week to get a citable, and within or more than 60 days final decision release after initial submission.