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Is the slowdown in academic publishing necessary?

Leslie, Derek (2004) Is the slowdown in academic publishing necessary? UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Concern has been expressed at the long delays (especially in economics) faced by authors who aim to publish in prestigious refereed academic journals. Time delays and the associated uncertainty are an important part of the cost of submitting to any top journal. A commonsense economic principle is that if costs increase, supply will fall. Thus time delays can be used as an implicit rationing device to save scarce editorial and refereeing resources. The submission process is seen as a signal extraction problem, where the statistical noise is the difference in opinion between the journal's editors and an author's own view. It is shown how submission costs can ration the supply of submissions and how it influences the quality of submissions depending on the signal to noise ratio and where authors may have rational expectations in estimating their chances of acceptance. An alternative rationing system, which would speed up the decision process, is explored.

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