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Are delays in academic publishing necessary?

Leslie, Derek (2005) Are delays in academic publishing necessary? American economic review, 95 (1). pp. 407-413. ISSN 0002-8282

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Abstract

Researchers perpetually complain about long decision lags. Glenn Ellison (2002a,b) confirms that delays are being longer. He suggests an evolving social norm as a possible explanation, with more demands made on authors for their work to be published. Time delays have the additional effect, however, of limiting the flow of submissions. In the absence of time delays and other significant submission costs, the best strategy is to start at the most prestigious journal and work down until the article is accepted. Better journals are unlikely to welcome this. The major submission cost is the long and unpredictable length of time spent waiting for a decision. Ellison notes that time lags are longer for the top five economics journals, at around six to eleven months longer than the rest. Despite the increasing prestige of top journals, the number of submissions remains fairly static.

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