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Started 19th Sep, 2019

Slow Peer Review Process.

Dear colleagues, I would like to ask a question that to my opinion is considerably more important to everyone than the discussion of the number of authors of an article.
I think that every scientist have suffered from slow review process when one has to wait for many months. I believe that for this case the following options may be useful:
1. Exact date after which the journal's website closes for the reviewer should be established. It should be noted that this practice exists in a number of journals. The reviewer is usually given 4 weeks to review a manuscript. After 6 weeks the review is not accepted, and the editors decide whether to make a decision for publication or send the manuscript to another reviewer.
Dear reviewers, nobody is forcing you to accept articles. If you are busy and cannot finish the work in time, do not take it.
2. The second option: after the deadline, for example, 3 months, if there is no editorial decision, the author has the right to send the article for review to another journal without revoking the manuscript from the editorial office. One paper, of course, cannot be published in two different journals, but this does not mean that it cannot be sent to two different journals for review. The normal text of the author's agreement usually protects the journal, and the author has almost no rights.
3. On the journal website, it is advisable to allocate space for authors' feedback on the work of the editorial Board and evaluation of the editorial Board as a whole. Today almost all the services, from hotels to pizza deliveries, are rated, however, an author cannot leave any feedback on a journal.
How do you feel about these options? If they will be approved by a lot of specialists, we can contact the publishers with appropriate suggestions.

Popular replies (1)

20th Sep, 2019
Dimitri Ketchakmadze
Ilia State University
Dr. M. Markov ,
I agree with your suggestions. In most cases, Peer Review is a very slow process. Science is progressing so fast that the paper, or at least the data, may even be outdated during this time.

Most recent answer

13th Jul, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, I have written quite a few articles in my life and reviewed even more. I must state that there are so many journals now that almost every manuscript that is written in readable English and does not refute the first and second laws of thermodynamics can be published. I may be asked why I opened this discussion then. The fact is that in many important situations you need not just a publication, but a publication by a certain deadline.
The simplest example is the defense of a dissertation or the submission of a report on time, which involves the publication of the results.
I myself had to postpone my thesis for this reason, and as a result, the position I was applying for was taken over by another person.

All replies (275)

As I pointed out on many occasions (cf. my comments in various discussions here in RG, but especially my papers - see attached!), the obligatory pre-publication "peer"-review system is inherently and incurably flawed in many respects, and the only effective way to deal with it is to abandon it!
20th Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Roman Bohdan Hołyński
Dear doctor Hołyński , I completely agree with you. It's not normal for a plasma physicist to evaluate my work on rock physics. Sometimes it is possible to convince the editor-in-chief, especially if you have already published articles in this magazine. More often, the editor-in-chief writes a formal letter and refuses.
20th Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Ahmadi Murjani
Dear Ahmadi Murjani ,
In good magazines, there's four weeks to a month to review. And the reviewers are well aware of this. In my opinion, slow means that this period is over 2 weeks.
Best Regards,
Mikhail Markov
20th Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
Two weeks is slow?
What discipline do you work in?
Publishing is a commercial business.
20th Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@Michael John McAleer
Dear Michael,
4 weeks given by the Editorial Board + 2 additional weeks = 6
I think that's enough.
I work in rock physics and continuum mechanics.
Best Regards,
Mikhail
20th Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
Is my name an Answer?
20th Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@Michael John McAleer
Dear Michael,
4 weeks given by the Editorial Board + 2 additional weeks = 6
I think that's enough.
I work in rock physics and continuum mechanics.
Best Regards,
Mikhail
20th Sep, 2019
Chia-Lin Chang
National Chung Hsing University
4-6 weeks is standard for many Open Access journals, but in economics and finance, do not even think about contacting the journal in the first 6-8 months after submission.
20th Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Chia-Lin Chang
I can't talk about economics and finance journals, but in my field, the average publication time, taking into account all the stages: the review, responses to the reviewer's comments and the final decision of the editor, is 6-8 months. Just look at the average data for Elsevier journals on their websites. I think you choose the wrong publishers. There are also slow journals in my field of science, but they should be avoided.
20th Sep, 2019
Dimitri Ketchakmadze
Ilia State University
Dr. M. Markov ,
I agree with your suggestions. In most cases, Peer Review is a very slow process. Science is progressing so fast that the paper, or at least the data, may even be outdated during this time.
Michael: "Publishing is a commercial business" - no! scientific publishing is a service, publisher is a transmitter delivering the results of the researcher's work to the interested readers (first of all to other researchers who would use them in their own studies). So, the role of a publisher is like that of a postman delivering letters to the addressees, or a pharmacy transferring medicines to the pacients. A publisher who considers publishng simply a commercial business entitling him to interfere with the content of submitted paper or delay (e.g. by prolonged "peer"-reviewing) its publication, should restrict his activity to porno-magazines or scandalmongering gutter-papers - as a scientific publisher he is a dishonest pest!
21st Sep, 2019
Segun Thompson Bolarinwa
Fort Hare University
I was thinking this only affects the early researchers like me until I come across this thread. Thanks for sharing this. I submitted a manuscript to a journal in Economics and Finance in June this yesterday and surprisingly the manuscript was still on the editorial check even as at the month of August. I mail one of the editors of the journal who promised to take up the case in July. The manuscript was not attended to until the month of September after I had to mail the Chief editor himself. Even my mail was not replied to. I just found out that the paper was on review a day or two days later.
I think there is a need to put some appropriate checks to fast-track review process. Or else, this will reduce the progress in scientific methods despite its advantages. I agree with M. Markov, there should be a means to rate editorial board in a manner that will allow authors to express their views on their performance.
21st Sep, 2019
Folorunsho M Ajide
University of Ilorin
Good
21st Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To M. Markov:
Leading journals in any discipline are controlled by well-known publishers, so the decision to submit a paper for possible publication is predetermined.
There is no such thing as "choosing the wrong publisher".
21st Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To Roman Bohdan Hołyński :
Publishers expect to make a profit from their "service", so it remains a commercial business.
Michael: A postman also expects to make a profit from his service, but what would you say if he censors your letters before delivery, then accepts some, rejects others, and requires you to change their contents according to his suggestions, at that extending these procedures for months? There are some professions (priest, doctor, policeman, postman, or - just - scientific publisher) where "business" attitude is only as long justifiable as it does not contradict the primary function - who places maximization of profit above the declared service, is simply a dishonest impostor!
22nd Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To Roman Bohdan Hołyński :
There is no connection between publishing academic papers and delivering mail.
All international publishers are profit oriented.
Statement of fact.
Michael: Fortunately not all scientific publishers are profit-oriented (e.g. most of my papers have been published by science-oriented publishers!). But, unfortunately, you are right in that the profit-oriented molochs like Elsevier usually win the competition, successfully strengthen their oligopoly, and progressively eliminate the honestly scientific rivals... Honesty is nowadays not profitable - not only in science...
"There is no connection between publishing academic papers and delivering mail" - and what, in your oinion, is the significant (in this context) difference?
23rd Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, I think that the work of a scientific publishing house is really similar to that of a Federal Express or DHL postal service. In this sense, the doctor Roman Bohdan Hołyński is right. Personally, I have no claims to the technical work of the leading scientific publishing houses, because after the decision of the scientific editors of the articles go quickly to Springer and Elsevier. These are business projects. The work of the scientific editorial office itself is not a pure business. All consideration is delayed at the level of the scientific Editorial Board: reviewers and editor-in-chief. My proposals are aimed at accelerating their work. In particular, my last proposal is aimed at accelerating the work of the scientific Editorial Board, and I hope to receive support from publishers here.
23rd Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To M. Markov:
I wish you well, but that will not happen.
Publishers have no connection whatsoever to a postal service.
Anyone with any editorial experience will understand why.
23rd Sep, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Allen, this analogy is not so important. In opening the discussion, I meant something else: to discuss what the author should do if the manuscript is "stuck" in a review. Such delays create a lot of problems: My student's thesis defense is delayed due to the defense requires to have at least 2 published articles. At the end of the project, which I have already finished besides the report, it is necessary to submit accepted for publication or published articles, etc. After all, if I can't speed up the reviewers' work, then I should at least have the opportunity to say what I think about the editorial office and not on my website, but on the journal website, so that the authors think before sending an article to the journal. Now the author is practically powerless in this sense.
23rd Sep, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To M. Markov:
It is regrettable that the reviewers for a PhD thesis are dragging the chain.
If a review is unnecessarily delayed, it is essential to find a new reviewer.
2nd Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, I think that the discussion is developing in the wrong direction. At the beginning of the discussion I made 3 specific suggestions on how to speed up the review process. If not difficult, try to evaluate them by writing the first Yes, the second no, and why.
4th Oct, 2019
Maurice Ekpenyong
University of Calabar
If you notice that a particular journal has a very slow peer review process, then ignore it, if you don't have the patience. By the time they cannot have sufficient articles to publish an issue, they will become frantic and the desperation will force them to do things differently. It's not a do-or-die affair to publish with a particular journal. If any feels they are too slow, then they are open to look elsewhere.
4th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Peter Breuer
Dear Peter, thank you! You're the only one who's written anything to the point. It seems to me that proposals 2 and 3 are quite feasible.
Regards,
Mikhail.
5th Oct, 2019
Mazarin Akami
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
Regards
Peter: "peer reviewing itself is more of a problem than a solution" - very gently formulated but perfectly true! In fact, it is a source of many serious problems without providing any real solution
7th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, not often, but I get frankly boorish reviews. For example, in the Geophysical Journal International the reviewer wrote: “I do not understand why I got to review this cookbook with recipes for calculating the elastic properties of rocks”. And that's all. The editor-in-chief rejected the manuscript, despite the normal (constructive) review of the second reviewer. The article was published in another journal, and is one of my most cited articles.
Second example. Journal Water Resource Research. One reviewer “wrote accept as is”, a second reviewer wrote "minor revision", and the editor-in-chief rejected the article. In this case, I believe, disrespect was shown not only to the authors, but also to the reviewers. As a result, the article was published with a long delay in another prestigious journal.
I understand that many editors are more accustomed to the supply of tequila and avocado from Mexico, rather than scientific articles, but you still need to respect the authors.
That is why I believe that punt 3 of my proposals is necessary.
7th Oct, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
Welcome to the club.
8th Oct, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
To Peter Breuer:
Excellent discussion of a conference from a personal perspective.
I may admit to similar experiences as many others, but I never complain as I accept that large organizations will not change quickly, if at all, and I do not need to vent my spleen.
The EU is moving to Open Access and away from predatory publishers, including < many names withheld >
8th Oct, 2019
Langsi D. Jacob
University of Ngaoundere
Dear Makov
your proposals all seem to be very pertinent and important. No author due to institutional or personal reasons would like to take a verylong time tomorrow publish a single article.
Nevertheless, there are publication ethics that need to be followed
Most predatory journals publish without review or with very sketchy review.
Point number 2 goes against publication ethics. Only one journal can review a manuscript per instance
I agree with points 1 and 3
Langsi D. Jacob: "there are publication ethics that need to be followed. Most predatory journals publish without review or with very sketchy review" - and why, in your opinion, reviews would be so important? What their presence vs. absence has to do with publication ethics?
"Only one journal can review a manuscript per instance" - why?
8th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Langsi D. Jacob
Dear Dr. Langsi D. Jacob ,
I agree that it is unethical to publish an article in two journals at the same time. I'm talking about something else: if the editorial Board keeps the article for a long time on the review (for example, 3 or 4 months), the author can submit the manuscript for consideration in another journal, without withdrawing it from the editorial office. If the manuscript is accepted in two journals, the author decides in which of the two to publish it.
If you sell an apartment, you have the right to use the services of two realtors, although the apartment will eventually sell one. The status quo protects not the author but the publisher. I think about the authors.
Regards,
Mikhail Markov
Peter: Obligatory "peer"-reviewing is itself, from several viewpoints, socially unacceptable - and nevertheless it has been socially accepted...
9th Oct, 2019
Abdelaziz M. Shaboon
Pusan National University
Dear Dr. M. Markov,
I am totally agree with all of your precious suggestions and other colleagues as well, but i am thinking weather there is a way to apply them in the future or it will be" just a discussion"?
Best regards,
9th Oct, 2019
Ali H. Wheeb
University of Baghdad
I agree with you
9th Oct, 2019
Langsi D. Jacob
University of Ngaoundere
Dear Roman Bohdan
Nothing written is perfect. there is always need for a second person (s) to read through it, where aspects of grammar, methodology and even general science could be evaluated and corrected. This is the importance of manuscript review.
Generally, at least 2 and at most 3 reviewers are necessary for peer review to be considered well done.
Predatory journals usually don't go through this process because of several unethical reasons that I would not listen here.
Furthermore, before submitting to a second journal, make sure you make an official withdrawal of your manuscript from the first one.
Good journals always pose that question of 'is this manuscript already published or under peer review in a different journal?'
so, you need to withdraw from the first, before submitting to the second
9th Oct, 2019
Langsi D. Jacob
University of Ngaoundere
Dear Dr Markov
Review could be a tedious process. Good journals go though difficulty most of the time to get good and competent reviewers for certain manuscripts.
Most good journals also charge ARTICLE PROCESSING FEES (APC) only after the peer review and correction has been done.
Unscrupulous authors, after going through good peer review in one good journal (and making good corrections on their manuscripts), move over to other journals for fast and at times, cheap publication
Either way, relationships are bound to be strained between the author and the journal which did peer review and was not told that the article had been submitted to a different journal for publication
Both journals could also end up publishing the same article (seen as fraud in the scientific world by the author)
WITHDRAW FROM THE FIRST BEFORE SUBMITTING TO THE SECOND
9th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Dr. Jacob,
I have participated in the work of good journals with a high impact factor both as a reviewer and as a guest editor. So I'm familiar with the review process. Journals are the best in the world of publishing Elsevier is free. Terms of publication in these journals are usually quite acceptable, from 4 to 9 months. Publications are paid mainly in American journals, which are published by American scientific societies. I'm talking about abnormal situations where a reviewer holds an article for a long time.
I have repeated several times that it is unethical to publish the same results in two journals. My proposal does not refer to publication, but to submission for review. These are different things. It is unethical, in my opinion, when the reviewer does not return the article to the editor within six months. Generally speaking, the notion of what is ethical and what is not forms a scientific society. And ethical norms change over time.
Best Regards,
Mikhail Markov
Langsi D. Jacob:Nothing written is perfect” – this may or may not be true, but even if it is, why do you think that what the author [having for years specifically studied particular field (in my case, e.g., taxonomy of Indo-Pacific Buprestidae), and then having spent months on analysing concretely some specific problem witin this field (e.g. the relationships among the species of the genus Psiloptera Dej.), then again weeks on summarizing the results, formulating conclusions, “polishing” the text, &c.], was not able to make “perfect”, will be “perfected” by a reviewer, usually only superficially (if at all...) acquainted with the topic?
And why do you consider the “aspects of grammar” (and similar “ornamentations” unrelated to the subject of the study) so important as to warrant delay of publication even if only by few days, to say nothing of weeks or months? Scientific publication is not poetry or belles-lettres, here essential is presentation of results of the study and their interpretation, while questions of linguistically proper application of indefinite article or past perfect tense is neither of primary nor even of secondary or tertiary importance!
To sum up, delaying the publication in search for errors and imperfections which (by definition stupid?) author had evidently committed but (by definition incomparably more wise and competent?) reviewer will of course be able to correct, is one of [only one of – for (many!) others see e.g. the attached paper!] those aspects of the obligatory “peer”-reviewing system which make it – to use Peter’s expression – socially unacceptable: if that enormous time and energy unproductively wasted by editors and reviewers on finding quarrel in a straw, and by authors on detailed (and often unsuccessful...) explications, could be used by them on effective research, scientific study would be not only much more enjoyable but, first of all, incomparably more effective enterprise!
10th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Roman Bohdan Hołyński
Dear Dr. Hołyński ,
Thank you for the interesting paper.
Regards,
Mikhail Markov, Mexico.
M. Markov: I'm happy to hear that you find it interesting! Best wishes!
Roman
Peter: I do not really understand what kind of “supporting facts and experimental results” would you expect? – I’m taking part in a discussion, i.e. I present my opinions. I do not question any established facts, but only express my views as to what is good and what is wrong – I cannot imagine what kind of “experimental results” could produce “facts” “supporting” my conviction that scientific publication is different from poetry and so should be evaluated according to different criteria, or that a priori assumption that a reviewer is always much more competent than the author (“specialized” in a given topic) is, to say the least, bizarre?
what’s the plan? Everyone else also start their own journal?” – why “everyone” (separately)? Every group of scientists working on more or less related problems and sharing the negative opinion of “peer”-reviewing system can launch a non-reviewed journal, and every single scientist can publish in such! E.g. the official publisher of Procrustomachia is the “Informal Uncensored Scientists Group” which – as well as the journal itself – is open to everybody (see attached file!). Well, this is the idea, in practice the author, publisher, editor, printer, book-binder &c. rolled into one is dr. Roman B. Hołyński – but this is only because only Roman B. Hołyński ventured to undertake the risk: as Hungarians justly point out, “swimming with the current you move always downwards”, but proceeding upstream demands effort and devotion... My effort and devotion proved sufficient to “survive” – despite shabby intrigues and vehement slanderous assaults by some kind colleagues... – for four years and to publish 20 papers (now I’m working on 21-th: Procrustomachia 4, 5); would some other Colleagues have supported me (either by publishing some of their papers sine censura, or only by public expression of the support) the results would be more spectacular and even the hostility less obstinate and less dangerous, but this is not dependent upon me: now I am alone...
I hope, sooner or later scientists will realize that it is not enough to be passively dissatisfied with, and complain on serious problems created by “peer”-reviewing system: some active opposition and support for alternatives is needed – whether I will live to see this, is another question!
Peter: I would rather try to avoid using cannons to kill a mosquito... To state that elephants are bigger than mice I do not need statistical analysis, and similarly no statistics is (in my opinion, of course...) necessary to ascertain that enormous amount of (editor's, reviewer's and - last not least... - author's) time and effort could be spared and used for effective studies if obligatory "peer"-reviewing system is abandoned. Moreover, like in any discussion, I present my opinion, and my opinion is a unique "entity", by definition not amenable to statistical analyses (of course, you may disagree, in which case I would expect rational - not necessarily supported by statistics and/or experiments...- counter-arguments)! But, first of all, let's not overcompliccate simple questions ("Everything should be explained as simply as possible" - Albert Einstein)!
"start up a journal, set its policies" - this is exactly what I have done...
All the best!
Roman
13th Oct, 2019
Mohamed Zakaria Fodol
Sakarya University
Thank you, dear M. Markov, for raising this important and thorny topic.
I completely agree with you, the reviewers need to be responsible if their time is limited and they cannot review the article and delivered it on time it is better to not to take it at all. The problem may lie in the journal itself. Most kinds of these journals choose reviewers on the basis of reducing or eliminating the review cost. This either leads to retaining very few reviewers for hundreds of articles that need to be reviewed, or selecting people who are not competent and not responsible. Indeed, a professional and committed person does not waste his time on pointless things.
I think the solution is to digitize journals websites or platforms and set deadlines for review, a rating system for authors (give feedback about particular reviewer) and option to withdraw the manuscript after the deadline due in order to make the publication process more transparent and accurate.
Warm regards!
13th Oct, 2019
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
Reviewers are paid for some journals in banking and finance.
15th Oct, 2019
Adnan Arshad
China Agricultural University
Agree but still some of them are doing volunteer job as well
17th Oct, 2019
Muhammad SIRAJUL Mazid
Universiti Putra Malaysia
The topic is important. Need to be considered.
18th Oct, 2019
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, I ask you, in your answers, to evaluate my three proposals, which are contained in the question at the beginning of the discussion. The first proposal has been implemented in several prestigious journals, but unfortunately not all of them. I have not heard a single objection to the third sentence so far. With respect, Mikhail Markov.
19th Oct, 2019
Saeide Ahmadi
Yazd University
Dear Dr. Markov,
I worked for an international journal for about 3 years. We used the first two of your proposals in this journal, and the results were significant. Furthermore, we were watching the performance of every reviewer closely. Thus, reviewers were excluded from the reviewers' list when no appropriate performance was taken. Also, sometimes we sent manuscripts to one or two more reviewers than needed. Hence, we could achieve the results of the review process on time, even if some reviewers were unfaithful. Ultimately, I agree with the third proposal too.
Best regards,
Saeede
4th Nov, 2019
Alhuseen Omar Alsayed
King Abdulaziz University
Editors need to be careful to select reviewers who have sufficient subject matter expertise to do justice to the article they’re reviewing.
Journals must be serious onthe peer review process.
6th Jan, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
It’s hard to imagine a specialist who methodically day after day, studies your work for six months or years As a rule, the reviewer, if he is an actively working specialist, and is not a Professor Emeritus, spends 5 - 10 days on the review. Therefore, a long review does not guarantee its high quality. Rather, the long presence of the article on the review indicates disrespect of the reviewer to the authors and to the editorial Board.
It’s hard to imagine a specialist who methodically day after day, studies your work for six months or years.
13th Jan, 2020
Maged G. Bin-Saad
Aden University
The number of scientific journals in the world is constantly increasing, as they have become close to the number of fish, but they are different in types. Here we find that the sea is one, but the fish are completely different from each other. Therefore, we cannot specify an algorithm on which all journals run. The researcher is the one who should search for the appropriate journal for his research
24th Jan, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
@ Maged Gumaan Bin-Saad
Unfortunately, the system of scientific work evaluation, for example, in my case is constructed in such a way that it is considered not only the number of publications in journals with impact factor, but also the number of journals that should be in the first or second quartile by impact factor. Otherwise, there should be a decrease in the level, a decrease in bonuses, etc. Therefore, in reality, the number of journals in this sense is very limited.
At the same time, in a certain part of journals, I must be the first author or the corresponding author.
25th Jan, 2020
Desy Osondu Eze
Cyprus International University
I agree with the three options mentioned by M. Markov. There must be a win-win system between the editors and the Authors. The authors should have right about there work and not to be at the mercy of both the reviewers and editors. Most articles are time bound and if not published within the time frame will loss its purpose.
20th Feb, 2020
Pedro L. Contreras E.
University of the Andes (Venezuela)
Dear Prof. M. Markov
About the second option for example, most journals don´t have a clear deadline for authors.
The third option looks great, locate space for authors feedback, but in the main page of the journal, before their publicity.
26th May, 2020
Benni Thiebes
German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)
We are authors and reviewers at the same time so we should actually blame ourselves.
As an editor for a journal, I constantly have to remind reviewers to submit their reports; it is a drag. As an editor, you do not have many possibilities to speed up the process. I now tend to invite up to 6 reviewers for each manuscript although 2 would be sufficient; this is just to make sure that at least 2 reports are provided after 4 weeks.
26th May, 2020
Michael John McAleer
Asia University; Erasmus University Rotterdam
In the COVID-19 era, special issues of journals on COVID-19 topics have very fast turnaround.
26th May, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Dr. Thiebes, Thnk you for the commnts.
I believe that for this case the following options may be useful:
1. Exact date after which the journal's website closes for the reviewer should be established. It should be noted that this practice exists in a number of journals. The reviewer is usually given 4 weeks to review a manuscript. After 6 weeks the review is not accepted, and the editors decide whether to make a decision for publication or send the manuscript to another reviewer.
Dear reviewers, nobody is forcing you to accept articles. If you are busy and cannot finish the work in time, do not take it.
2. The second option: after the deadline, for example, 3 months, if there is no editorial decision, the author has the right to send the article for review to another journal without revoking the manuscript from the editorial office. One paper, of course, cannot be published in two different journals, but this does not mean that it cannot be sent to two different journals for review. The normal text of the author's agreement usually protects the journal, and the author has almost no rights.
3. On the journal website, it is advisable to allocate space for authors' feedback on the work of the editorial Board and evaluation of the editorial Board as a whole. Today almost all the services, from hotels to pizza deliveries, are rated, however, an author cannot leave any feedback on a journal.
How do you feel about these options?
27th May, 2020
Benni Thiebes
German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)
M. Markov thanks for your reply.
I see some problems with the solutions you proposed.
1. if you have a very hard deadline for the submission of review reports and the deadline is missed by the reviewers, then the editor has to find new reviewers which is time-consuming and leads to additional waiting time.
2. I am not entirely sure which rules apply here. I guess that authors already have the right to revoke their paper at any time and to submit it to another journal.
3. The delays in the review process are from my experience not caused by the editorial board but the reviewers. So rating the editors does not really help. However, there is often a rating option for reviewers, i.e. editors can rate the reviewers on quality and timeliness.
27th May, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Benni Thiebes, Thank you.
First option is realized in many journals.
I think it is useful to use the list of possible reviewers presented by authors.
Many Editors permit this option. Of course, the authors do not have the conflict of interests or ethical problems with these persons.
Regards,
Mikhail.
30th May, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Bruno,
Thank you for the comment. I think this information is useful,
but I am talking about some different problem.
I am talking about the high impact factor journals (for example, the journals of Springer or Elsevier ) with a good reputation. I have to wait 4, 5, 6 month to obtain the comments.
In some cases the review looks very strange or incompetent.
I have presented for discussion some options to accelerate and improve the review process.
Best Regards,
Mikhail.
24th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
I have received this information from one Taylor & Francis journal.
Very strange solution.
In the interest of safeguarding the integrity of peer review on Taylor & Francis journals, the decision has been made to remove the option to suggest reviewers at the point of submission. Now, during the submission process, contributors will no longer be asked to suggest the names and contact details of possible reviewers across all of our peer review management systems.
We made the decision to remove this feature from our manuscript-tracking systems to keep our peer-review process objective, responsible, and fair and to better streamline the submission steps for our authors.
26th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
It seems to me that the publisher Taylor & Francis doesn't trust the authors
28th Jun, 2020
Harald G. Dill
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Dear Dr. Markow,
I have been writing as an author since 1976 and I have been working since 2013 on the editorial level for different journals. As a reviewer invited by a wide range of journals, I started somewhere in the 1980s and based upon that practical experience gathered during this period of time and in the various posts I can only provide a simple assessment that this thread has the potential for another “1000 x thread “like “What is negative in sciences and how can we improve it?” The strong point of such a question is that now and then we are forced to carry out some self-reflection and look at ourselves from different angles. To say it frankly, I do not know where to start off ………………. and to provide the colleagues with anything more than a platitude.
Kind regards Harald G. Dill
28th Jun, 2020
Ihab Alfadhel
University of Granada
I agree with you and I’m always suffering from this situation for a year sometimes
28th Jun, 2020
Frank T. Edelmann
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Dear M. Markov I go along with Harald G. Dill. I also had my first publication in 1976, and from the mid 1980's on I became reviewer for numerous chemical journals. I always tried to submit my reviews in time, most often much earlier than the deadline. However, I think that authors should not be too concerned about a few weeks / months more in the reviewing process. In the meantime, you can start working on the next paper(s).
28th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
I think that it is enough to require the author so that the potential reviewer does not have joint works with the author or to use the double-blind review procedure.
28th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Professor Edelman,
Thank you for the comment.
It’s hard to imagine a specialist who methodically day after day, studies your work for six months or years As a rule, the reviewer, if he is an actively working specialist, spends 5 - 10 days on the review. Therefore, a long review does not guarantee its high quality. Rather, the long presence of the article on the review indicates disrespect of the reviewer to the authors and to the editorial Board.
It’s hard to imagine a specialist who methodically day after day, studies your work for five or six months.
29th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
I have proposed 3 options to accelerate the consideration process:
1. Exact date after which the journal's website closes for the reviewer should be established. It should be noted that this practice exists in a number of journals. The reviewer is usually given 4 weeks to review a manuscript. After 6 weeks the review is not accepted, and the editors decide whether to make a decision for publication or send the manuscript to another reviewer.
Dear reviewers, nobody is forcing you to accept articles. If you are busy and cannot finish the work in time, do not take it.
2. The second option: after the deadline, for example, 3 months, if there is no editorial decision, the author has the right to send the article for review to another journal without revoking the manuscript from the editorial office. One paper, of course, cannot be published in two different journals, but this does not mean that it cannot be sent to two different journals for review. The normal text of the author's agreement usually protects the journal, and the author has almost no rights.
3. On the journal website, it is advisable to allocate space for authors' feedback on the work of the editorial Board and evaluation of the editorial Board as a whole. Today almost all the services, from hotels to pizza deliveries, are rated, however, an author cannot leave any feedback on a journal.
29th Jun, 2020
Subhajit Ghosh
Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans (ISTO) Université d'Orléans - CNRS
These suggestions seem apt and logical ... especially the last one might lead to some form of transparency ...
29th Jun, 2020
Harald G. Dill
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Browsing some of the most recent posts renders me to affirm that the problem is not the “slow peer review”. The trouble unfolds already during the selection of the journal.
If parents send their children against the recommendation of the current teacher to a high school or even grammar school the pupil will fail and he/she and the parents will be annoyed about the educational system while the teachers of the ill-selected teaching facility will be unable to provide lectures and courses adequate to the teaching level. Authors too often overrate their elaborate and select journals for their papers where they are not suitable for submission; one after the other reviewer declines the invitation or postpones actions despite having agreed to review it. The editorial process is clogged and becomes more and more sluggish with frustration on all parties involved on the ascent. To set new deadlines, answer petition letters of the authors and seek new reviewers does not help us out of the dilemma. It is last-but-not-least with the editors´ knowledge and experience to break through the Gordian knot.
This is my personal opinion based on my editorial work and my knowledge and experience I gathered as a member of a teacher family since more than 60 years.
29th Jun, 2020
Frank T. Edelmann
Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
Dear All, Harald G. Dill added a very good point. Looking back to our publication history, "slow peer review" has very rarely been a critical point. I remember only one paper (cited below) where the reviewing took 1 1/2 years. Selecting the right journal is one of the keys to successful publishing. Researchere should always try to go for high-ranked journals without overestimating their work. It makes no sense to send routine work to Nature or Science.
29th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues,
I hope that you agree at least with my third proposal.
Mikhail
30th Jun, 2020
Yasser Fakri Mustafa
University of Mosul
Dear M. Markov
I am with the first and third suggestions.
As reported by Professor Frank T. Edelmann , the choice of a suitable journal is an essential point. Usually, the journals belong to well-known publishers respond within 2-3 months. This is an acceptable period.
All the best for you and RG members
30th Jun, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Of course, there is a correlation between the rating of the journal and the review time, but the main factor is the activity of the editor-in-chief. I have many examples where, after changing the editor, the review time changed dramatically. My familiar, the editor-in-chief, said that he rejected half of the manuscripts without peer review. His journal has a very high impact factor and the review process is very fast.
30th Jun, 2020
Yasser Fakri Mustafa
University of Mosul
The editor-in-chief can rejected more than half of the manuscripts without peer reviewing, and this is a good point for the journal. Also, I proposed that the fast reviewing process as well as the high impact factor of that journal may attribute to the good selection of the manuscripts which carried out by the Editor.
1st Jul, 2020
Ernesto Iglesias Rodríguez
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
"Selecting the right journal is one of the keys to successful publishing" is a missleading, biased and directly fake sentence.
Of course journal selection is essential, but there are too many that, unless you are very familiar with one, the only way to know if your paper is suitable is by it scope section. The aim will alwais be to publish high quality papers, no matter the Impact Factor, but the scope in a certain field is not so specific to know if the "journal is the correct", worst when it says they "welcome papers related" with the field. You may think it is in the scope and the editor sais your paper is not for them.
Besides, the discussion is about peer reviewing, not claiming authors ineptitude. Blame authors for the delay is a mistake.
1st Jul, 2020
Harald G. Dill
Leibniz Universität Hannover
A fundamental question is in my opinion what role the editor, on whatever level he/she is involved in the editorial process, is going to play. Is it that of a relay station, some sort of a mail sorting machine, is it that of a search-and-rescue operation within his/her peer group or does he/she still try and act as a scientist driven by ideas and performance?
1st Jul, 2020
Malay Mukul
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
I think there is a simple solution to the problem of slow peer review! Give the reviewer an honorarium for reviews within the allotted time. You have to remember that the peer review process is largely pro bono work that researchers do. Some time (in my editorial experience) the authors who want their papers reviewed quickly transform into really slow reviewers. Good reviewing requires careful work and a fair amount of time in a world where everyone is in a time crunch. I think as a reviewer the thing to remember is that you should treat the papers you review like you would like your papers to be treated. Also, before you start rating reviewers like pizza and hotels, you got to remember that you pay for those services. You typically don't pay your reviewers. The thing to do as authors is to make sure that your papers are well-written and easy to read. If your paper is a tough read then the review process will go the way of a quick reject if it goes for review at all. The alternative, if you are lucky, will be an agonizing review for the reviewer that goes the way of a major revision. Rare are papers that are really well written and a pleasure to read. Reviews are more likely to be timely for these.
2nd Jul, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear Dr. Mukul ,
I was toking about the rating and the ability to write anonymous reviews about the work of the editorial Board and not just reviewers.
I think your idea is very interesting, but I don't think the editors will agree with it.
Now a large number of publishers, for example the Elsevier has the option to immediately declare an article available in open access. Those who have tried it say that it speeds up the consideration of the manuscript very much.
Regards,
Mikhail Markov.
2nd Jul, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
I completely agree with you. In good journals, as a rule, the main work is done by the associate editors, not by the editor-in-chief. They are the ones who search for reviewers and work with them, and the editor-in-chief is already looking at their conclusion
2nd Jul, 2020
Waleed Thanoon
University of Mosul
Dear M. Markov
I am with the first and third suggestions.
As reported by Professor Frank T. Edelmann , the choice of a suitable journal is an essential point. Usually, the journals belong to well-known publishers respond within 2-3 months. This is an acceptable period.
All the best for you and RG members
8th Jul, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
I can name few journals in which my manuscripts were reviewed quickly: Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer (4 month), Jnt. J. of Eng. Sci. (3-4 month), J. of Appl. Phys. (5 month), Physica B (4.5 month). All these journals have sufficiently high impact factor. In parentheses the time from sending the manuscript to electronic publication.
13th Jul, 2020
M. Markov
Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
Dear colleagues, I have written quite a few articles in my life and reviewed even more. I must state that there are so many journals now that almost every manuscript that is written in readable English and does not refute the first and second laws of thermodynamics can be published. I may be asked why I opened this discussion then. The fact is that in many important situations you need not just a publication, but a publication by a certain deadline.
The simplest example is the defense of a dissertation or the submission of a report on time, which involves the publication of the results.
I myself had to postpone my thesis for this reason, and as a result, the position I was applying for was taken over by another person.

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