Average duration first review round 15 weeks
Published 1 July 2014

SciRev data make clear that the duration of the first review round of the peer review process is on average 15 weeks and that it varies considerably among and within scientific fields. It is about 10 weeks in medical sciences, 14 weeks in natural sciences and 17 weeks in social sciences and humanities.

While writing a peer review may take between four and eight hours, in only 11% of reported cases authors were informed about the outcome in less than a month. In nearly half of the cases (46%), authors had to wait three months or more before being informed. In Social Sciences and Humanities, one fifth (21%) of authors even had to wait at least half a year.

It is yet unclear to what extent the long duration of the first review round is the result of the peer review process as such and to what extent it is due to (in)efficient manuscript handling at editorial offices.

Given that we found immediate rejection times to be often long (see here), it seems that inefficiencies at editorial offices are important. The finding that Medical Sciences