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      Duration and quality of the peer review process: the author’s perspective

      1 , 2 , , 2 , 3

      Scientometrics

      Springer Netherlands

      Peer review process, Duration, Quality, Author’s experience

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          Abstract

          To gain insight into the duration and quality of the scientific peer review process, we analyzed data from 3500 review experiences submitted by authors to the SciRev.sc website. Aspects studied are duration of the first review round, total review duration, immediate rejection time, the number, quality, and difficulty of referee reports, the time it takes authors to revise and resubmit their manuscript, and overall quality of the experience. We find clear differences in these aspects between scientific fields, with Medicine, Public health, and Natural sciences showing the shortest durations and Mathematics and Computer sciences, Social sciences, Economics and Business, and Humanities the longest. One-third of journals take more than 2 weeks for an immediate (desk) rejection and one sixth even more than 4 weeks. This suggests that besides the time reviewers take, inefficient editorial processes also play an important role. As might be expected, shorter peer review processes and those of accepted papers are rated more positively by authors. More surprising is that peer review processes in the fields linked to long processes are rated highest and those in the fields linked to short processes lowest. Hence authors’ satisfaction is apparently influenced by their expectations regarding what is common in their field. Qualitative information provided by the authors indicates that editors can enhance author satisfaction by taking an independent position vis-à-vis reviewers and by communicating well with authors.

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          Most cited references 27

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                0031 24 361 2319 , j.smits@fm.ru.nl
                Journal
                Scientometrics
                Scientometrics
                Scientometrics
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                0138-9130
                9 March 2017
                9 March 2017
                2017
                : 113
                : 1
                : 633-650
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000000122931605, GRID grid.5590.9, Department of Business Administration, Institute for Management Research, , Radboud University, ; Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                [2 ]SciRev Foundation, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                [3 ]ISNI 0000000122931605, GRID grid.5590.9, Department of Economics, Institute for Management Research, , Radboud University, ; Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                Article
                2310
                10.1007/s11192-017-2310-5
                5629227
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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                © Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

                Computer science

                peer review process, duration, quality, author’s experience

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