SciRev News

Immediate Rejection Time often too long
Published 25 May 2014
SciRev data show that immediate rejection (IR) time is a major source of unnecessary time loss in the peer review process. This is the time it takes an editor to let you know not to be interested in your manuscript (and thus not to send it to reviewers).

The good news is that in almost half (46%) of reported IR cases the editor informed the authors within a week. However, our data also make clear that in 43% of cases IR-time was 14 days or more and in 22% it was at least four weeks. Several authors even had to wait for more than three months, or drew back their paper after hearing nothing for an even longer period.

The situation is best in the Biomedical Sciences, shortly followed by the Natural Sciences. Immediate rejection time is longest for researchers in the Social Sciences & Humanities, where in one-third of received cases it took the editor four weeks or more to inform the autor(s).

Reviewers are generally blamed for long processing times, but these findings indicate that manuscript handling at editorial offices is important too. If an editor needs a month for an IR decision, (s)he probably also takes (too) much time for finding reviewers and processing review reports.

Time loss due to inefficient editorial processes is unnecessary and can be prevented by organizing things better. Our finding that in about half of IR cases authors were informed within a week shows that this is very well possible.

Detailed statistics available here.