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The publishing delay in scholarly peer-reviewed journals

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Publishing in scholarly peer reviewed journals usually entails long delays from submission to publication. In part this is due to the length of the peer review process and in part because of the dominating tradition of publication in issues, earlier a necessity of paper-based publishing, which creates backlogs of manuscripts waiting in line. The delays slow the dissemination of scholarship and can provide a significant burden on the academic careers of authors. Using a stratified random sample we studied average publishing delays in 2700 papers published in 135 journals sampled from the Scopus citation index. The shortest overall delays occur in science technology and medical (STM) fields and the longest in social science, arts/humanities and business/economics. Business/economics with a delay of 18 months took twice as long as chemistry with a 9 month average delay. Analysis of the variance indicated that by far the largest amount of variance in the time between submission and acceptance was among articles within a journal as compared with journals, disciplines or the size of the journal. For the time between acceptance and publication most of the variation in delay can be accounted for by differences between specific journals.
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 1
Thepublishingdelayinscholarlypeer‐reviewedjournals
Bo‐ChristerBjörk
Professor,InformationSystemsScience
HankenSchoolofEconomics
P.B.479
00101Helsinki,Finland
bo‐christer.bjork@hanken.fi
DavidSolomon(CorrespondingAuthor)
Professor,DepartmentofMedicineandOMERAD
A‐202EFeeHall
MichiganStateUniversity
ELansing,MIUSA48824
dsolomon@msu.edu
+1517339‐0720
Abstract:
Publishinginscholarlypeerreviewedjournalsusuallyentailslongdelaysfrom
submissiontopublication.Inpartthisisduetothelengthofthepeerreview
processandinpartbecauseofthedominatingtraditionofpublicationinissues,
earlieranecessityofpaper‐basedpublishing,whichcreatesbacklogsof
manuscriptswaitinginline.Thedelaysslowthedisseminationofscholarship
andcanprovideasignificantburdenontheacademiccareersofauthors.
Usingastratifiedrandomsamplewestudiedaveragepublishingdelaysin2700
paperspublishedin135journalssampledfromtheScopuscitationindex.The
shortestoveralldelaysoccurinsciencetechnologyandmedical(STM)fieldsand
thelongestinsocialscience,arts/humanitiesandbusiness/economics.
Business/economicswithadelayof18monthstooktwiceaslongaschemistry
witha9monthaveragedelay.Analysisofthevarianceindicatedthatbyfarthe
largestamountofvarianceinthetimebetweensubmissionandacceptancewas
amongarticleswithinajournalascomparedwithjournals,disciplinesorthesize
ofthejournal.Forthetimebetweenacceptanceandpublicationmostofthe
variationindelaycanbeaccountedforbydifferencesbetweenspecificjournals.
Keywords:ScholarlyPublishing;ReviewTime;ProcessingTime
 2
1Introduction
ScholarlyjournalpublishinghasalonghistorygoingbacktoHenryOldenburg’s
PhilosophicalTransactionoftheRoyalSocietyfoundedin1665.Forthepasttwo
centuriesthevolumeofpeerreviewedarticlespublishedperyearhasincreased
byarelativesteady3,5%peryear,withacurrentnumberofarticlesofaround
1,8–1,9million,publishedinanestimated28’000journals(WareandMabe
2012).Overtheyearsthescientificjournalasaninstitutionhasevolvedinmany
waysandafterthesecondworldwarandtheensuingrapidgrowthinscience
commercialpublishershaveincreasinglyenteredthismarket,whichearlierwas
dominatedbyscientificsocieties.
Thedisseminationmediumhasveryrapidlychangedfromprintedissuesto
predominantlydigitallydistributedpublishing(VanOrsdelandBorn,2002).At
thesametimethishastriggeredtheemergenceofnewbusinessmodelsfor
digitalpublishing,includingbundlede‐licenses,pay‐per‐viewandopenaccess
publishing.Scholarlyjournalpublishinginitscurrentformhasbeentheobjectof
increasedcritiquesincetheadventoftheWorldWideWebandtheopportunities
itoffersforprocessinnovation,Thedebatehasinparticularconcernedthree
aspects.Firstlythatthereachofthedisseminationthatthetraditional
subscriptionmodelachievesissuboptimal.Secondlythatthepeerreview
processisflawedandfrequentlyleadstoarbitrarydecisions.Thirdlythatthere
aresignificantdelaysinpublishingarticles.Traditionalpaperpublishingin
particularcreatessignificantdelaysbothduetotheneedtobundlearticlesinto
issuesandbacklogscreatedbypagelimitsresultingfromthehighperpagecost
ofthistypeofpublishing.
ThesolutionproposedtothelimiteddisseminationisOpenAccess(OA),which
canbeachievedeitherthroughpublishinginopenaccessjournals(“goldOA”)or
throughauthor’suploadingmanuscriptversionsoftheirarticles(“greenOA”)to
subjectorinstitutionalrepositories(Suber2012).OAjournalshaveincreased
theiroutputby20‐30%peryearforoveradecadeandnowpublisharound12%
ofallpeerreviewedarticles(LaaksoandBjörk2012).Theopenaccessibilitycan
beachievedviaanumberofbusinessmodelsofwhichthepublishingfeevariant
israpidlyincreasingitsmarketshare.
Thecritiqueofthepeerreviewprocesshasledtoanumberofexperimentswith
alternativemodels.Thewebmediumlendsitselftodifferentformsofopen
review,wheremanuscriptscanbe“published”priortorevieworwithminimal
reviewandsubsequentlyevaluatedbyreadercommentsandelevatedtofull
articlestatusviapostpublicationfeedback.(Björk2011).Openreviewwastried
anddeemedafailureinawell‐knownexperimentbyNature(2006).More
successfulthanopenreviewexperimentsisanalternativepeerreviewmodel
practicedbyanincreasingnumberofOA“megajournals”inthewakeofPLoS
ONE,whichcurrentlypublishesaround20,000articlesperyear.Inthisformof
peerreviewonlythescientificvalidityoftheresultsischecked,thedecision
concerningthepotentialcontributionisleftforthereaderstodecide.
 3
AnimportantreasonforthesuccessofPLoSONEisalsothatisoffersavery
attractivealternativetoauthorswhoaretiredofthelongdelaysinvolvedin
publishingintraditionaljournalsandrejectiononwhatarefelttobearbitrary
andorbiasedopinionsofreviewersand/oreditor.Thedelaywasanecessary
facetofthepublishingprocesspriortotheturnofthemillennium,whenjournals
werealmostexclusivelypublishedinpaperform,andwherejournalpagelimits
wereaneconomicnecessity.Sincethenelectroniconlyjournalshaveshownthat
thedelaycanbeconsiderablyshortened.Alsothetraditionaljournalshave
acknowledgedtheexistenceoftheproblembystartingtopost“inpress”or
completelycopyeditedandformatted“aheadofprint”versionsofaccepted
manuscriptsevenbeforetheybecomepartofanissueandreceivepagenumbers.
Arecentsurveywithauthorsshowedthatthespeedofpublicationwasthethird
mostimportantfactoraffectingauthors’choiceofjournal,aftertopicalfitandthe
qualityofthejournal(SolomonandBjörk2012).
Insomefieldsofscienceauthorshavetriedtopartlybypassthesystemby
publishingtheirmanuscriptsinopenwebrepositoriespriortosubmissionas
workingpapers(economics)orpreprints(physics),inordertospeedupthe
disseminationoftheresults.Inothercasesexperimentshavebeenmadewith
newtypesofpeerreviewjournals,inwhichonlylightlyscreenedmanuscripts
havebeenopenlypublishedonthejournalwebsites,andthebetteroneshave
laterbeenelevatedtofulljournalarticlestatus(Björk2011),provingthesealof
quality.
Itisourbeliefthatthelengthofthedelayisnotconstantacrossdifferentfieldsof
science,butdependsonthereviewandpublishingculturesthathaveevolvedin
differentsciences.Forexampleadelayoftwoyears,commonineconomicsand
management,wouldbedifficulttoacceptforacademicsinthebiomedical
sciences.
1.1TheLifecyclestagesofapeerreviewedarticle
Duringitslife‐cycleascholarlyarticleundergoesanumberofstages,someof
whichareinfocusinthisstudy.Duringthewritingandfinalizingofamanuscript
mostauthorstendtoshowittoafewtrustedcolleagues,fromwhomthey
receivefeedbackandsuggestionsforimprovement.Inmanydisciplinesit’salso
commontopublishversionsasconferencepapersandinafewdisciplines,in
particularphysicsandeconomics,atraditionofpublishingworkingpapershas
evolved.Atsomestagetheauthor(orauthors)formallysubmitsthemanuscript
toaparticularjournal.Mostjournalsrequirethatamanuscripthasn’tbeen
publishedelsewhereandthatisnotunderconsiderationforpublishingby
anotherjournal.Inmedicinethisrulecanbeevenstricterinthatauthorsarealso
restrictedfromdiscussingtheresultswiththepopularmedia,theso‐called
Inglefingerrule.Fromtheviewpointofthewholescholarlycommunitytherule
excludingparallelsubmissionisunderstandableintermsofavoiding
unnecessaryreplicationoftheunpaidrefereeworkdonebytheeditorandother
 4
scholars.Ontheotherhandthiscausespublishingdelaysforauthorswhose
workisrejectedinthefirstandevensecondjournaltowhichtheysubmit.
Thequalityandextentofthepeerreviewthatamanuscriptundergoesvaries
considerablyacrossjournalsanddisciplines.Theeditorsofmanyjournalsscreen
submissionsandquicklyrejectmanuscriptsthatareclearlyunsuitablewithout
sendingthemoutforexternalpeerreview.Thereviewprocesscanalsoinvolve
severalcyclesofreviewandrevision,apracticecommoninmoreselective
journalsparticularlyinspecificdisciplinessuchasbusinessandmanagement.
Manuscriptsatsomepointareaccepted,rejectedorinsomecaseswithdrawnby
theauthorwhomayfindtherequestedrevisionsortherevisionprocess
unacceptable.Ifacceptedmanuscriptsaregenerallycopyeditedandtypesetby
thepublisherorcontractor,afterwhichtheauthorisusuallyaskedtocheckthe
finalversion.Intraditionalprintpublishingthefinalizedmanuscriptisthenput
inthequeueforpublishing,awaitingitsturn,usuallythoughnotalways
accordingtoitspositioninthequeue.Articlessubmittedtoaspecialissueare
treatedabitdifferently.Thequeuingcantakeaslongasayearormoreifthe
journalhasasignificantback‐log.Ifthejournalalsopublishesanelectronic
versionmanuscriptsareoftenpublishedearlieronthejournalwebsiteunder
headingslike“in‐press”usuallywithoutexactpagenumbersandassignmentof
issue.Mostelectronicopenaccessjournalspublisharticlesdirectlywhenthey
arereadyratherthaninissues,thusspeedinguptheprocess.
Ifwewouldtakeamanuscriptandnotjournal‐centricviewthetotaldelaywould
oftenbeevenlongersincemanymanuscriptsarerejected,andinsomecases
severaltimesbeforepublication.Thistimefromsubmissiontorejection,insome
casesfrommultiplejournals,needstobeaddedtothedelayofthejournalthat
finallypublishesthearticle.Azar(2004)discussesthisforthecaseofeconomics
journalsandpointsouttheimportanceoffirst‐responsedelays,sinceitisoften
atthisstagethatauthorsneedtofindalternativejournalsforsubmittingtheir
manuscripts.
Inthisstudywetakethejournal‐centricviewlookinginparticularatthedelay
fromsubmissiontoacceptanceandthedelayfromacceptancetofinal
publication,aswellasthetotaldelaytime.Althoughitmightbepossibletoget
dataforotherstagesintheoverallprocessforsomejournalsthesethreepoints
intimearecommonforallpeerreviewedjournals.
1.2PreviousResearch
Thereareanumberofpossiblesourcesofinformationaboutpublicationdelays.
Ideallypublisherswouldtrackandmakethisdataavailable.Thisishowever
rare,perhapsbecausepublishersandeditorsmaybehesitanttodiscloselong
delays.Sometimestheinformationcanbefoundineditorialsinjournals,which
oftenalsoprovideinformationabouttheacceptanceratesofjournals.Another
optionistogatherarticledataaboutsubmissionandacceptancedateswhichis
oftenpublishedindividuallyineacharticleoronthearticlesfacepageonthe
 5
publisher’swebsite.Thisisaverylabor‐intensiveprocessbutprovidesprecise
statisticsforthearticlessampled.Afinaloptionistogatherthedatafrom
authorswhichwouldbedifficultandlikelytobefairlyinaccurate.
Earlierstudieshavemostlycollectedthedataincludedinpublishedarticles.One
ofthefewstudiesusingstatisticssolicitedfrompublisherswastheearlystudyof
economicsjournalbyYohe(1980),whoobtainedstatisticsfromtheeditorsof
20journalsandextractedarticleleveldatafor5more.
Trivedi(1993)foundthattheaveragetotalpublicationdelayforeconometrics
articlesinsevenstudiedjournalswas22.8months,consistingof13.4months
fromsubmissiontoacceptanceand9.4monthsfromacceptancetopublication.
Ellison(2002)concentratedhisstudyonthereviewtimesonly(submissionto
acceptance)andfoundanaverageof16.5monthsin1999foraselectionof25
journalsineconomicsandrelatedfields.Hewasalsoabletodoalongitudinal
analysisforasubsetofthejournalsusingdatabothfromYohe(1980)andCoe
andWeinstock(1967)andfoundthatthereviewtimeshadmorethandoubled
inthreedecades(1970‐1999),forfiveleadingeconomicsjournalsfrom8.7to
20.7months.Themainreasonforthisseemstobetheincreasingnumberof
iterativeroundsinthereviewprocess.Healsofoundthattheaveragereview
timesvarybetweendifferentsub‐specialtiesofeconomics,evenforarticles
publishedinthesamejournalswithbroaderscopes,andsuggestthatthe
expectationsforthetypeandlengthofthereviewshavebeensociallyshaped
withinnarrowscholarlycommunities.
AlsoHartmann(1997)reportsonadramaticincreaseinsubmissionto
publicationdelays.ForarticlesintheJournalofAtmosphericSciencesthetotal
timeincreasedfrom5.9to15.2monthsbetween1970and1997andwhilethe
acceptancetopublicationlagincreasedsomewhat(4.4to6.6months)the
increasewasmainlyattributabletotheincreaseinthetimerequiredbythe
reviewprocess(1.5to8.5months).
KlingandSwygart‐Hobaugh(2002)comparedtheevolutionofpublication
delaysforthreenaturalscienceandthreesocialsciencejournalsbetween
1970/1980and2000,inanattempttoseeiftheemailcommunicationwidelyin
usein2000hadreducedaveragedelays.Theyfoundthatthedelaysinchemistry
andphysicsjournalshaddecreasedfrom6.5monthsto5.8(andevenmoreso
foraminorityofarticlespublishedelectronicallybeforepaperpublication)but
thatthedelaysintheeconomics,managementandpsychologyjournalshad
increasedfrom9.0to23.8months.
Diospatonyietal(2001)studiedtheevolutionofpublicationdelaysinten
chemistryjournalsintheperiod1985‐1999,andcouldnotfindanyclear
developmenttoshorterorlongerperiods,withtheyearlyaveragesranging
between6.7and7.5months.Thepapercontainsdetailedbreakdownsofthe
spreadofdelaywithinjournalsaswellasananalysisofthebreakdownbetween
submissiontoacceptancevsacceptancetopublication.
 6
Carroll(2001)comparedpublicationdelaysforsixstatisticsjournalsandfounda
slightdecreasefrom25.2monthsin1994to22.3in1999.Hesuggestthatthe
declinemightbeduetoelectronicpublishingbecomingmorecommoninthefive
yearinterval.Amat(2008)studied14journalsinfoodscienceandfoundan
averagepublicationdelayof11.8months(forarangeof6.2‐17.2months).The
delaysofthreecivilengineeringjournalsreportedbyBjörkandTurk(2006)
variedbetween6.7months(foranOAjournal)comparedto18.0and18.9for
twoconventionaljournals.
ThestudybyLuwelandMoed(1998)differedfromtheabovebecauseit
includedjournalsfromdifferentsubjectareas.Thestudywastriggeredbyclaims
ofDutchresearchersthatarticlesintechnicalsciencesandmathematicshave
muchlongerdelaysthanarticlesinphysicsandchemistry,andthatresearchers
intheformerfieldsaredisadvantagedinshorttermbibliometriccomparisons,
oftenusedwhencomparingcandidatesforpromotionetc.Inaselectionof15
leadinginternationaljournalsintheabovefields,therangeofdelayswas
between2.5and17.5monthswithmathematicsandengineeringjournals
tendingtobetowardsthehigherend.
Anotherstudywithjournalsfromdifferentdisciplineswasthestudyof26
IranianjournalspublishinginthePersianlanguage(Khosrowjerdietal2011).
Thedelayrangeforthesepredominantlysocialscienceandhumanitiesjournals
wasverywide(5.8to34.6months)withanaverageof17.3months.
ThestudybyDongetal(2006)istheonlystudythattriedtoanalyseifthedelay
timesforOAjournalsdifferfromsubscriptionjournalsinbiomedicine.They
comparedsixOAjournalsfromtheleadingOApublisherBioMedCentral(BMC)
withsixjournalsoncorrespondingtopicsfromNaturePublishingGroup(NPG)
aswellassixotherBMCjournalswithelevensocietyjournals.Theresults
demonstratedthattheNPGjournalswereequaltotheBMCjournalsinoverall
publicationdelay(4.5months)butmarginallyfasteriftheelectronicpublication
dateswerecompared.TheBMCjournalsclearlyoutperformedthesociety
journals(4.8vs8.9months).Itisnoteworthythattheinthesubscription
journalstheprintversionstrailedtheelectronicversionsbyonlyshortperiods
ofbetween0.5to1.5months.
Yuetal(2004),aspartofthebuildingofamathematicalmodelofthedelay
process,collecteddelaydataforsevenjournals.Scientometrics,aninformation
sciencejournalhadadelayof5.5monthsandtheJournalofMathematical
physicsadelayof9.0butthefiveotherjournals,fourofwhichwereindifferent
engineeringfieldsandoneinthesocialsciences,haddelaysintherange16.4–
20.0months.
Tortetal(2011)studiedthedelaysbetweenelectronicandprintpublishingin
neurosciencejournal,andfoundasignificantincreasebetween2003and2011.
Theywerealsoabletodemonstratethatincreasingthedelayincreasesa
particularjournal’simpactfactor,duetothetimewindowsusedbytheISIin
calculatingtheimpactfactor!
 7
Table1aboutHere
Previousstudiespointtotwothings.Firstlythattherearesubstantialdifferences
inpublicationdelayswithleadingbiomedicalandchemistryjournalsachieving
delaysofroughlyhalfayearandattheotherendofthespectrumeconomicsand
statisticsjournalstypicallyhavingaveragedelaysofclosetotwoyears.Secondly
thatthedelayshaveincreasedsubstantiallyinsomedisciplinesoverthepast
decades,partlyduetoanincreaseinthelengthofthereviewprocess.
Twofactorswhichhavenotbeenexplicitlystudiedaretheeffectsofjournalsize
andscientificqualitylevelonthedelays.Mostofthepreviousstudieshavebeen
benchmarkingstudieswithinnarrowdisciplinesofrelativelyhomogeneous,
highlycitedjournals.Sizecouldinparticulareffectthedelayafteracceptance
sincesmallerjournalsmayappearonlyfourtimesayearoreventwiceayear,
whichmeansthatarticlesmighthavetowaitinaqueueforquitesometime
beforepublication.Qualitymightlengthenthesubmissiontoacceptancetimes
sincearticlesmightgothroughseveraliterationsinthereviewprocess.Onthe
otherhandthemosthighlycitedjournalsintheirfieldsmightfinditeasierto
recruitreviewersandaremorelikelytohavealargereditorialstaffandprocess
submissionsmorequickly.
1.3Aims
Basedonthepreviouslypublisheddata,alotofanecdotalevidenceandpersonal
experiencesasauthorstheaimsofthisstudyweredefinedasfollows.
Tostudypublicationdelaysinscholarlypeerreviewedjournalsacrossdisciplines,
journalsizeandjournalquality.
Weexplicitlyruledoutdoingalongitudinalanalysis,duetotheverytime‐
consumingworkofdatacollection.
2.Method
2.1Pilotstudy
Beforestartingdatacollectionwedida“feasibilitystudy”thataddressedtwo
issues.Firstlywecheckedourabilitytoobtaincopiesofarticlesfromjournals
indexedinScopusoratleasttheabstractsiftheyhappentocontainthe
necessaryinformation.Secondlywecheckedwhetherthejournalsortheirfreely
availableabstractsincludedsufficientinformationonthepublicationtimeframe.
Itwasnecessarytocheckaccesstoelectroniccopiesofthejournalsthroughour
libraries’electronicholdingsaswefeltitwouldnotbefeasibletogatherthedata
frompapercopiesofagivenjournalorgetthenecessarycopiesviainterlibrary
loan.AccesstothejournalswascheckedviathelibrariesofHankenSchoolof
 8
EconomicsandMichiganStateUniversity.Forthispilotstudywerandomly
selected100journalsindexedinScopus.
Atotalof66%ofthesejournalswereavailablethrougheithertheelectronic
holdingsofourlibrariesortheywerefreelyavailableonlineandweredeemed
tobeappropriateforanalysis.Themajorityofjournalswecouldnotfindorgain
accessweresmallerjournalspublishedinothercountriesthantheUS,UK,
NetherlandsandGermany.
Sixty‐fourpercentoftheavailablejournalscontainedatleastthesubmissionand
acceptancedatesanditwaspossibletodeterminethedateofpublicationeither
aslistedorbythedateoftheissueinwhichanarticlewaspublished.Wealso
foundthatjournalstypicallypublishedthedatesofuptofivedifferentkeypoints
inthepublicationprocess.Theseincluded,submission,revisionbasedon
feedback,acceptance,publicationaheadofprintinanelectronicformat,andfinal
publicationaspartofanissue.Thefirstfourwereusuallyincludedasdates,
whereasthelastitemcouldoftenonlybedeterminedbythemonthoftheissue
whichcontainedthearticle.Theresultsofthepilotstudyconfirmedthatthereis
enoughdataavailabletomakethestudyfeasible.
2.2Mainstudy
ThemainsourcedatabaseforthestudywastheScopuscitationindex,which
containsinformationaboutsome19,500scholarlyjournals,includingtheyearly
articleandcitationcounts.TheSCImagoJournal&CountryRankwebsite
(SCImago,2013)providesfreelyaccessibleScopusdataatthejournallevel
whichwasthedatasourceforthisstudy.
Elsevier,thepublisherofScopusprovidesafreelydownloadablespreadsheeton
theirwebsite(Scopus,2013)thatamongotherinformationprovidesa
hierarchicalclassificationofeachjournal’sdiscipline.Thehighestclassification
includedonly4categoriesandwasfelttobetoobroad.Thesecondlevelincludes
27categoriesandwasfelttobetoospecific.Wedecidedtomergesomeofthese
lattergroupsbasedonoursubjectiveassumptionofsimilarityinreviewing
cultureandpublicationspeedresultinginninegroups.Theseinclude
arts/humanities,biomedicine,business/economics,chemistry,earthscience,
engineering,mathematics,physics,andsocialsciences.
Wehypothesizedthatthereweredifferencesinthepublicationtimeassociated
withjournalsize.Westratifiedbysizeinsuchawaytoensureeacharticlewithin
adisciplinecategoryhadanequalchanceofinclusioninthestudy.Thejournals
wereorderedbysizebasedonScopusarticlecountsin2010.Thejournals
containingthefirstthirdofthearticlesinadisciplinemadeupthesmallest
journalstrata,thejournalscontainingthemiddlethirdmadeupthemiddle
journalstrataandthelastthirdofthearticlesthelargejournalstrata.This
resultedinamuchsmallernumberofjournalsinthelargestjournalstrata
thoughanequalnumberofarticlesperstrata.
 9
Werandomlyorderedthejournalsineachdiscipline/sizestrataandwent
throughthejournalsinordercheckingtoseeiftheywereavailablefromeither
ofourtwolibraries,HankenSchoolofEconomicsandMichiganStateUniversity
oratleasttheabstractorjournalwasfreelyavailableandcontainedthe
necessarydates.Forthosejournalswewereabletoaccess,wecheckedfirst
whethertheyappearedtobepeer‐reviewedscholarlyjournalsandcontainedat
leastthedatesofsubmissionandacceptance.Whenanappropriatejournalwas
foundweselected20articlesworkingbackwardfromthelastarticlepublished
in2012.Specialissues,invitedarticlesandeditorialswhereskipped.Foreach
articlewerecordedtheISSN,DOI,orifnoteasilyobtained,title,submissionand
acceptancedates.Ifavailablewealsorecordedthedatearevisionrequestwas
madeandthedatethearticlewaspublishedelectronicallyaheadofprint.
Publicationdateunlessstatedspecificallywasbasedonthemidpointofthe
publicationperiod.Soifajournalwaspublishedmonthly,itwasthe15thofthe
monththeissuewaspublished.Ifitwasquarterly,thedatewasthemiddleofthe
quarter,forexampleFebruary15thforthefirstquarter.AhandfulOAjournals
containedexactdateoffinalpublication,whichwasusedinplaceofanestimated
date.Whenourmethodofdeterminingthepublicationdateresultedina
negativenumberofdaybetweenacceptanceandpublication,wesetthenumber
ofdaysfromacceptancetopublicationtozero.Whileweoriginallycalculated
thetimebetweensubmissionandacceptanceandthetimebetweenacceptance
andpublicationindays,forthepurposesofanalyzingandpresentingthedata,
weconverteddaysintomonthsbydividingby30.44.
Fivejournalswereincludedforeachsizegroupforeachofthe9discipline
categoriesresultingindatafor135journalsand2,700articles.Forthepurposes
ofthisstudy,thetimefromsubmissiontoacceptanceandacceptanceto
publicationmeasuredinmonthswasusedasthemainoutcomevariables.
SourceNormalizedImpactperPaper(SNIP)version2citationmeasureswere
obtainedfromtheJournalM3tricswebsite(2013).Wealsoobtainedinformation
onwhetherajournalwasintheDirectoryofOpenAccessJournals(DOAJ).
DatamanagementandmostoftheanalyseswereconductedusingtheStatistical
PackagefortheSocialSciences(SPSS).Mostanalyseswereconductedatthelevel
ofindividualarticles.SinceSNIPvaluesareassignedtojournals,weaveragedthe
timefromsubmissiontoacceptanceandfromacceptancetopublicationfor
assessingtherelationshipbetweenthesetimesandeachjournal’sSNIP.
Thedatacollectedformedabalanceddesignandhenceitwaspossibleusing
analysisofvariance(ANOVA)topartitionthevarianceassociatedwitheach
factorinthedesign.Disciplinewascrossedwithsizegroup.Journalswerenested
inbothdisciplineandsizegroupandarticleswerenestedinajournal.Discipline
andsizegroupwereconsideredtobefixedeffectswhilejournalsandarticles
withinajournalwereconsideredtoberandomeffectsthatweresampled.Based
onthisdesignweestimatedthevariancecomponentsforthetimebetween
submissionandacceptanceaswellasacceptanceandpublicationusingGENOVA
(Brennan,2001).Thisanalysiswasusedtoassessthepercentageofthevariance
inthetimesfromsubmissiontoacceptanceandfromacceptancetopublication
10
thatcouldbeattributedtoeachsource,discipline,size,theirinteraction,journals
andarticleswithinjournals.
3.Results
Althoughmoredetaileddatawereavailableforsomejournals,wefocusedthe
reportingonthetimefromoriginalsubmissiontoacceptanceandfrom
acceptancetofinalpublicationaswefeltthesewerethekeytimepointsandwe
wereabletoobtaincompletedataacrossalldisciplinesandsizegroups.Thefirst
timeperiodreflectsthedelayduetothepeerreviewandrevisionprocessused
byajournalandthesecondthelengthofthepublishingprocess,backlogdueto
publicationpagelimitsandpotentiallyotherfactors.
Table2presentssummarystatisticsforsubmissiontoacceptance,acceptanceto
publicationandtotaltimesubmissiontopublication.Figures1and2present
thisinformationingraphicformforthe9disciplines(Figure1)and3journal
sizegroupings(Figure2).Detailedsummarystatisticsforthebreakdownby
disciplinesandsizegroupsarecontainedintheAppendix.Ascanbeseenin
Figure1,totaltimefromsubmissiontopublicationvariessignificantlyby
disciplinewithbusinessatjustunder18monthshavingpublicationtimesnearly
twicethatofchemistryatabout9months.Largerjournalsappeartohavethe
shortestpublicationtimeswithmid‐sizedjournalsthelongest.
BasedoninclusionintheDOAJtherewere19OpenAccess(OA)journalsor
approximately14%ofthesample.Ofthese,7weredeterminedtobeOAfrom
theirinceptionand12weredeterminedtohavebeenconvertedtoOAatsome
point.Thelatterusuallymeansthatthejournalmaystillpublishaparallelpaper
versionandalsoittypicallybundlesthearticlesinissues.Themethodologyfor
determiningbornversusconvertedaredescribedelsewhere(Solomon,Laakso&
Björk,2013).Table3presentstheaveragetimeinmonthssubmissionto
acceptanceandacceptancetopublicationforjournalscreatedasOAandthose
thatconvertedtoOA.Submissiontopublicationtimesappeartobeconsiderably
shorterforOAjournals,particularlythosethatwerecreatedasOAjournals.The
differenceswerereflectedinbothreceivedtoacceptedandacceptedto
publishedbutthegreatestdifferences,particularlyforthejournalscreatedOA
wereinacceptedtopublishedtimes.Thesedifferencesshouldbeconsidered
withcautionasthesamplesizesarefairlysmallandthepercentagesofjournals
withineachdisciplinearenotbalanced.
Wefelttheremaybeacorrelationbetweenpublicationtimesandthecitation
rateofthejournal.Sincecitationrateisatthelevelofthejournalratherthanthe
article,weaggregatedtothelevelofajournalusingaveragesforthetimesfrom
submissiontoacceptanceandfromacceptancetopublication.WeusedSNIPas
thecitationmeasurebecausethesestatisticsarenormalizedtoaccountfor
differencesincitationratesacrossdisciplines.ThePearsonproductmoment
correlationbetweenSNIPandsubmissiontoacceptanceandacceptanceto
publicationwere0.20and‐0.09respectively.Thecorrelationforthetimefrom
11
submissiontoacceptancewithSNIPwassignificantlydifferentfromzerop<
0.02.
Table4containstheestimatedvariancecomponents1fordiscipline,sizegroup,
journalswithindiscipline/sizegroupandarticleswithinjournals.For
submissiontoacceptance,thevariationamongjournalsandarticlesaccounted
forthebulkofthevariation,mostlyintermsofarticleswithinjournals.For
acceptancetopublication,againthevariationwasalmostentirelyamong
journalsandarticlesnestedinjournals.Forthiscomponenthoweverthe
variationamongjournalsaccountedforthebulkofthevariation.
4.Discussion
Theresultsofthisstudyhavetobeinterpretedwithsomecaution.Themain
caveatisthatwewereonlyabletoincludedatafromjournalsthatpublishedthe
submissionandacceptancedateswhileinmostcasesthepublicationdatewas
inferredfromtheissueandestimatedasthemid‐pointofthepublicationperiod
fortheissue.Sincethedecisiontopublishthisinformationwasgenerally
consistentacrossallthejournalsofaparticularpublisher,onlythosepublishers
thatchoosetopublishsubmissionandacceptancedateareincludedinthestudy.
Thisresultedin54%ofthesamplebeingpublishedbythetwobiggest
publishersElsevierandSpringer/Kluwer.Thiswasnotourintentionbutwas
theresultofthelimitationnotedabove.Alistofthepublishersincludedinthe
studythenumberofjournalsfromeachpublisherincludediscontainedinthe
Appendix.
Therewerestrikingdifferencesbetweendisciplineswithbusiness/economics
havingaroundtwicethetotaldelaysubmissiontopublicationcomparedto
chemistry.Differenceswerealsofoundintermsofthesizeofthejournalthough
theywerefairlymodestwiththelargerjournalsappearingtobethemost
efficientbothintermsofthetimefromsubmissiontoacceptanceandin
publishingarticlesonceaccepted.
Openaccessjournals,particularlythosewhichwerecreatedasOAjournals
ratherthanwereconvertedfromsubscriptionappeartobeabletopublish
articlesconsiderablymorequicklythansubscriptionjournals.Thisinpartmay
reflectthefacttheyareelectroniconlyandtendtopublisharticlesastheyare
readyratherthanbundlingthemintoissues.Giventhesmallnumbersandthe
facttheOAjournalsarenotevenlydistributedacrossdisciplinesthesefinding
shouldbeinterpretedwithagreatdealofcaution.
Theanalysisofvarianceindicatesmostofthevariationinpublicationtimesisat
thelevelofindividualjournalsandarticles.Forthetimefromsubmissionto

1Thecomponentsforthefixedfactors,discipline,journalsizelevelandtheirinteractionarenot
truevariancecomponents.Sincetheyarefixedeffectstheyarenotstatisticalexpectationsbut
quadraticformsthatareaveragessimilarinnaturetoavariancecomponent.(Brennan,2001)
Sincethedistinctionisirrelevantforthepurposesofthisstudy,wewillrefertothesequadratic
formsasvariancecomponentsinthediscussionoftheresults.
12
acceptance,thebulkisamongarticles.Thisisnotsurprising.Therearemany
idiosyncraticfactorsthatinfluencethelengthofindividualarticlereviews.
Editorsmoreoftenthannotacceptmanuscriptspendingrevisionsandauthors
varygreatlyinhowquicklytheycompletetherevisions.Hencethelengthofthe
reviewprocessforaparticulararticlemayreflecttheactionsoftheauthorrather
thantheeditororreviewers.Alltheseandotherfactorsresultinsignificant
differencesinreviewtimesamongsubmissionsforaspecificjournal.
Therewasalsoconsiderablymorevariationamongjournalswithinadiscipline
andsizegroupthanamongdisciplinesandsizegroups.Thisindicatesthereare
realdifferencesinthisimportantaspectofpublishingthatarenotexplainedby
eithertheanomaliesofindividualreviewsorthecultureofreviewofdifferent
fields.Somejournalsjustappeartobefasterinconductingthereviewprocess.
Thislikelyinpartreflectsthelevelandnumberofcyclesofrevisionstypically
requiredbytheeditor.Italsomayreflecthowquicklymanuscriptsgooutfor
reviewandwhatexpectationtheeditororeditorialteamhasforhowlonga
reviewershouldtakeinreviewingamanuscript.
Forthetimefromacceptancetopublicationthevastmajorityofthevariationis
amongjournals.Again,thisdoesnotseemsurprising.Thebacklogsin
processingmanuscriptsthroughtypesettingandcopyediting,frequencyof
publicationandthebacklogduetopagelimitsiftheyexistwouldalllargely
impactonpublicationtimesatthejournallevel.
5.Conclusions
Webelievethistobethefirstbroadstudyofpublishingdelays,coveringallfields
ofscience.Ourstudyalsodiffersfromallearlierstudiesbyouruseofarandom
samplecoveringjournalsofallqualitylevels.Previousstudies,haveusuallyused
smallconveniencesamplesoftypicallytopjournalsintheirfields,which
introducesastrongbiastowardsjournalsthatmayincludelongreview
processes.Ourresultsare,nevertheless,notinconflictwiththeearlierstudies,
butinstead,addtothem.Themethodologywasverylaborintensiveanditwould
beveryusefulforfuturestudiesifpublishersincludedthedateofsubmission
andacceptanceasastandardpartoftheirarticleinformation.Thiswould
providealeveloftransparencyforpotentialauthorsastothedelaystheycould
expectinreviewandpublicationprocesseswhenconsideringwheretosubmit
theirmanuscripts.Itwouldalsoprovideastrongincentiveforjournalstospeed
uptheseprocesses.
Theaimofourstudywastoprovideoveralldataonreviewandpublishingtimes
acrossvariousfieldsofscience.Wedidnotattempttodeterminehowdelays
haveevolvedovertime.Someoftheearlierstudieshavedonethis,butwemade
aconsciouschoicetoconcentrateonthedifferencesbetweendisciplines,dueto
theresourceintensivenessofourmethod.Alongitudinalstudywouldbeagood
topicforafollow‐upstudy,andshouldideallygobackaround25years,tothe
timebeforeemail,websubmissionsystemsandelectronicpublishing.That
13
wouldontheotherhandalsoimplychallengesinfindingthedatawiththe
articles.
Itwouldbeveryusefultomakeamoredetailedstudyofwhydelaysdifferso
muchbetweendisciplines,Ourimpressionisthatthecleardifferencesamong
fieldshaveevolvedoverdecadesthroughthedevelopmentofintra‐disciplinary
socialnormsforwhatisexpectedfromascholarlyjournalinthefield.This
includeswhatisanacceptabledelayforinformingauthorsofreviewresultsand
acceptanceorrejectiondecisionsaswellastheprocessingandqueuingtime
onceamanuscriptisaccepted.Thisisinlinewiththeconclusionsofforinstance
Ellison(2000).Thesedifferencesinreviewandpublicationtimesmayalso
reflectthenatureofthedisciplines.Forexampleinrapidlydevelopingfields
whereseparategroupsofresearchersmayberacingtoachieveaparticular
breakthrough,thespeedofthepublicationprocesscandeterminewhichgroup
gainscreditforthebreakthroughaspublicationhasbecomethedefacto
determinerofwhogetsthecreditforamajorfinding.
Otherinterestingtopicsforfurtherstudieswouldbethedifferencesbetween
journalswithinadisciplineandarticleswithinjournals.Forsomeindividual
articlesthedelaytimescanbeexcessivelylong.Thedelayscanbeduetothe
authorstakingexcessivelylongtimesmakingrevisionsaftertheoriginalreview
cycle.Theycanalsobeduetoexcessivelylongreviewperiodsordelaysinthe
publicationprocess.Asfoundinthisstudy,mostofthevariationinsubmissionto
acceptancetimesisamongindividualmanuscriptswithinajournalwhilemostof
thevariationinacceptancetopublicationtimeisamongjournalswithina
discipline/sizegroup.Sincepublicationdelaysarebothdetrimentaltothe
careersofindividualscholarsandretardtherateatwhichscientificfields
advance,understandingandattemptingtominimizeunnecessarydelaysinthe
peer‐reviewandpublicationprocessisineveryone’sbestinterest.
OneofthereasonsforthepopularityofOAjournals,inadditiontothewider
dissemination,isthebeliefthattheyhavemuchfastersubmissiontopublication
times.Thisperceptionisoftenhighlightedinthepromotionalmaterialforfully
electronicOAjournals.ItappearsfromourverylimitedsampleofOAjournals
thatjournalswhichareonlydisseminatedindigitalformandpublisharticles
individuallyastheyarereadytendtohaveconsiderablyshortersubmissionto
publicationperiodswithmostofthedifferenceduetoshorteracceptanceto
publicationtimes.Afollow‐upstudycomparingsubscriptionjournalswithOA‐
journalswouldneedtofurthersplitupOA‐journalsintoanumberofsubgroups,
suchasmegajournals(PloSONEandcloses),journalsfromso‐calledpredatory
journalswithspamacademicswithemailspromisingveryrapidpublicationand
highqualityOAjournals.
Somecriticsofthecurrentsystemhavediscussedthealmostdefactostandard
journalpolicyofnotallowingauthorsthepossibilityofsubmittingtheir
manuscriptstootherjournalsinparallel(Torgersonetal2005),aslongasthe
articlehasnotbeendefinitelyrejected(Piron2001).Thispolicycanresultin
longdelaysinthepublicationprocessofarticlesrejectedinthefirst‐choice
journalpotentiallyrenderingtheresultsoftheresearchoutdatedandoflittleuse
14
bythetimeitisfinallypublished.Thepolicyisoftenjustifiedbysayingthatit
wouldbeveryinefficientandunfairtoeditorsandrefereesifthesamearticles
wouldberefereedinseveraljournalsatthesametime.Ontheotherhandexactly
thesamethinghappenswhenarticlesafterrejectionorauthorwithdrawalare
resubmittedtootherjournalsandnewreviewersgetinvolved.Interestingly
thereisonejournalcategorywherethisruleisnotenforced,lawjournals
publishedbyleadingUSuniversities,whichallowauthorstosubmitto
competingjournalssimultaneously.Althoughnoempiricalstudiescouldbe
foundofthepublishingdelayintheselawjournals,severalauthorsforexample
(Posner,2008)havepointedoutthatthedelaysaremuchshorterthaninother
fields.Ifpublishersaregoingtosticktothedemandthatauthorsrefrainfrom
multiplesimultaneoussubmissionsofamanuscriptthenitseemstous,thatthey
haveanobligationtomakethepublicationprocessasfastandefficientas
possible.
Electronicpublicationoffersarealpotentialforspeedingupthescholarly
journalpublishingprocess,butinordertoachievethisjournalshavetostop
publishingaparallelpaperversionandneedtoconverttopublishingarticlesin
anissue‐lessmodeastheybecomeavailable.Thisisexactlywhatmostborn
electronicjournalsdo,andastheirshareofpublishingincreases,average
publishingdelayswilltendtodecrease.
Acknowledgements:
WeareverygratefultoCharlottaBjörk,AleksiAaltonenandPatrikWellingfor
helpingoutwiththetediousworkofgatheringthedata.
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SourcesofFundingandFactorsInfluencingChoiceofJournal,Journalofthe
AmericanSocietyforInformationScienceandTechnology,63(1):98–107,2012,
DOI:10.1002/asi.21660
Solomon,David,Laakso,Mikael,Björk,Bo‐Christer,2013,Alongitudinal
comparisonofcitationratesandgrowthamongopenaccessandsubscription
journals,JournalofInformetrics,Vol7,No3,642‐650.
Suber,P.(2012).OpenAccess.MITPress.230p.
TorgersonD.J.,AdamsonJ.,CockayneS,DumvilleJ.,PetherickBritishE.(2005)
Submissiontomultiplejournals:amethodofreducingtimetopublication?BMJ,
330,305–307.
TrivediP.K.,(1993)AnAnalysisofPublicationLagsinEconometrics,”Journalof
AppliedEconometrics893–100.
VanOrsdel,L.andBorn,K.(2002)PeriodicalsPriceSurvey2002:DoingtheDigital
Flip.LibraryJournal,http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA206383.html.)
Ware,M.,Mabe,M.(2012)TheSTMReport:AnoverviewofScientificand
ScholarlyJournalPublishing,InternationalAssociationofScientific,Technical
andMedicalPublishers,TheHague,Netherlands,
http://www.stm‐assoc.org/2012_12_11_STM_Report_2012.pdf
Yohe,G.W.,(1980)CurrentPublicationLagsinEconomicsJournals,"
JournalofEconomicLiterature18,1050‐55
YuG.,YuD.R.,,LiY.J.(2004)Theuniversalexpressionofperiodicalaverage
publicationdelayatsteadystateScientometrics60(2)121–129.
17
Figure1:AveragePublicationTimesinMonthsbyDiscipline
Figureisbasedon15journalsperdiscipline,5foreachsizegroup,20articlesperjournal
resultinginatotalof300articlesperdiscipline.
18
Figure2:AveragePublicationTimesinMonthsbyJournalSizeGroup
Figureisbasedon45journalspersizegroup,15foreachdiscipline,20articlesperjournal
resultinginatotalof900articlespersizegroup.
19
Table1.Previousstudiesconcerningpublicationdelaysinscholarlyjournals.
Stud
y
Included
journals
Period
studied
Discipline Delay(months)
AverageRange
Yohe1980
25journals1980 Economics 18.9
4.9–28.7
Trivedi1993 7journals
1986‐1990 Econometrics 22.8 19.7–31.4
Carroll2001
6journals 1994,1999 Statistics 22.3 15.0‐26.0
KlingandSwygart‐
Hobaugh2002
3socialscience
journals
1970/1980,
2000
Econ.,
management
23.8 17.0–29.4
KlingandSwygart‐
Hobaugh2002
3naturalscience
journals
1970/1980,
2000
Physics,
Chemistry
5.8 4.0–7.4
Hartmann1997
Onejournal 1970,1997 Atmospheric
Sciences
15.4 
LuwelandMoed
1998
15journals 1992 Physical
sciences,Eng.
9.4
2.5‐17.0
Diospatonyietal
2001
10journals 1985‐1999 Analytical
chemistry
7.1 3.5–12.5
Raney1998
Onejournal 1997 Geoscience 21.8 11.5‐36.5
Yuetal2004
7journals 2002 Mainly
engineering
15.1 5.5–20.0
Amat2008 14journals 2004 Agriculture 11.8 6.2–17.2
Dongetal2006 28commercial,
SocietyandOA
2004 Biomedicine 6.3 3.0‐11.0
BjörkandTurk
2006
OneOAandtwo
conventional
2005 Civil
Engineering
14.5
6.7–18.9
Khosrowjerdietal
2011
26Iranianjournals 2009 Cross‐
disciplinary
17.3
5.8–34.6

20
Table2TimeSubmissiontoPublicationTotals
Months
Submitted to
Accepted
Months
Accepted to
Published
Months
Submitted to
Published
Mean 6.41 5.78 12.18
Std. Deviation 5.35 4.21 7.17
Std. Error of Mean* 0.10 0.08 0.14
Statisticsbasedon135Journals/2,700Articles
*TheStandarderrorsofthemeansareapproximateduetothelackofindependence
betweenarticlesinthesamejournal.
21
Table3TimeSubmissiontoPublicationforOAJournals
Created Open Access
Months
Submitted to
Accepted
Months
Accepted to
Published
Months
Submitted to
Published
Yes Mean 4.17 1.80 5.97
Std. Deviation 3.08 1.56 3.77
Std. Error of Mean 0.26 0.13 0.32
Number 7 Journals / 140 Articles
No Mean 5.12 4.76 9.88
Std. Deviation 4.37 5.17 7.90
Std. Error of Mean 0.28 0.33 0.51
Number 12Journals/240Articles

Thestandarderrorsofthemeanareapproximateduetolackofindependence
amongarticlesinthesamejournal.
22
Table4EstimatedVarianceComponents
SubmittoAcceptAccepttoPublish
VariancePercentVariancePercent
Discipline3.4412% Discipline0.835%
JournalSize0.522% JournalSize0.312%
Journal8.4929% Journal12.8871%
Article16.4656% Article4.2023%
SizexDiscipline0.492% SizexDiscipline0.000%
Total29.41Total18.23
23
PublicationTimeinMonthsbyDiscipline
Discipline Months
Submitted to
Accepted
Months
Accepted to
Published
Months
Received to
Published
Chemistry Mean 4.73 4.18 8.91
Std. Deviation 5.46 3.60 7.30
Std. Error of Mean 0.32 0.21 0.42
Engineering Mean 5.00 4.30 9.30
Std. Deviation 3.68 3.06 5.29
Std. Error of Mean 0.21 0.18 0.31
Biomedicine Mean 4.65 4.82 9.47
Std. Deviation 3.47 4.11 5.18
Std. Error of Mean 0.20 0.24 0.30
Physics Mean 5.21 5.72 10.93
Std. Deviation 3.26 2.66 4.41
Std. Error of Mean 0.19 0.15 0.25
Earth Science Mean 5.74 5.96 11.70
Std. Deviation 4.80 4.66 7.24
Std. Error of Mean 0.28 0.27 0.42
Mathematics Mean 8.20 5.11 13.30
Std. Deviation 6.21 2.45 6.87
Std. Error of Mean 0.36 0.14 0.40
Social Science Mean 6.17 7.93 14.10
Std. Deviation 4.36 5.73 7.32
Std. Error of Mean 0.25 0.33 0.42
Arts and Letters Mean 7.21 7.00 14.21
Std. Deviation 5.26 5.38 7.71
Std. Error of Mean 0.30 0.31 0.44
Business/Economics Mean 10.75 6.96 17.70
Std. Deviation 7.15 3.19 7.52
Std. Error of Mean 0.41 0.18 0.43
All Journals Mean 6.41 5.78 12.18
Std. Deviation 5.35 4.21 7.17
Std. Error of Mean 0.10 0.08 0.14
Thereare15journals,5pereachsizegroupand20articlesperjournal
Standarderrorofthemeanisapproximateduetolackofindependenceamongarticlesina
journal.
24
NumberofJournalsfromEachPublisherIncludedintheStudy
Publisher Number Percent
American Chemical Society 1 0.8%
American Dairy Science Association 1 0.8%
American Physiological Society 1 0.8%
American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. 1 0.8%
American Psychological Association 1 0.8%
American Society of Civil Engineers 1 0.8%
American Vacuum Society 1 0.8%
Arizona State University 1 0.8%
Australasian Association of Psychology and Philosophy 1 0.8%
Bentham Science Publishers 1 0.8%
BioMed Central 1 0.8%
Blackwell Publishing Inc. 3 2.3%
Butterworth Scientific Ltd. 1 0.8%
Cell Press 1 0.8%
Central Fisheries Research Institute 1 0.8%
Cognizant Communication Corp. 1 0.8%
Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas 2 1.5%
Copernicus Gesellschaften 1 0.8%
Electrochemical Society, Inc. 1 0.8%
Elsevier 61 46.6%
European Respiratory Society 1 0.8%
Geophysical Society of Finland 1 0.8%
Hindawi Publishing Corporation 1 0.8%
Institute for Ionics 1 0.8%
Institute of Physics Publishing 1 0.8%
Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali 1 0.8%
JAI Press 1 0.8%
Maik Nauka/Interperiodica Publishing 1 0.8%
Marcel Dekker Inc. 3 2.3%
Molecular Diversity Preservation International 1 0.8%
Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH 1 0.8%
Opragen Publications 1 0.8%
Oxford University Press 1 0.8%
Pan American Health Organization/Organizacion
Panamericana de la Salud 1 0.8%
Prolegomena: Journal of Philosophy 1 0.8%
Public Library of Science 1 0.8%
Raptor Research Foundation, Inc. 1 0.8%
Royal Society of Chemistry 2 1.5%
Royal Society of London 1 0.8%
SAGE Publications 1 0.8%
Springer Pub. Co., 14 10.7%
Taylor & Francis 1 0.8%
25
Universidad de los Andes 1 0.8%
Universidad de Murcia 1 0.8%
Universidad Nacional de Colombia 1 0.8%
Universidade Estadual Paulista 1 0.8%
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro 1 0.8%
University of the Aegean 1 0.8%
Versita (Central European Science Publishers) 1 0.8%
Wayne State University Press 1 0.8%
Wiley-Blackwell 2 1.5%
PublishernamesretrievedfromSCImagoJournal&CountryRankwebsite.
http://www.scimagojr.com/
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Open access (OA) is a revolutionary way of providing access to the scholarly journal literature made possible by the Internet. The primary aim of this study was to measure the volume of scientific articles published in full immediate OA journals from 2000 to 2011, while observing longitudinal internal shifts in the structure of OA publishing concerning revenue models, publisher types and relative distribution among scientific disciplines. The secondary aim was to measure the share of OA articles of all journal articles, including articles made OA by publishers with a delay and individual author-paid OA articles in subscription journals (hybrid OA), as these subsets of OA publishing have mostly been ignored in previous studies. Stratified random sampling of journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals (n = 787) was performed. The annual publication volumes spanning 2000 to 2011 were retrieved from major publication indexes and through manual data collection. An estimated 340,000 articles were published by 6,713 full immediate OA journals during 2011. OA journals requiring article-processing charges have become increasingly common, publishing 166,700 articles in 2011 (49% of all OA articles). This growth is related to the growth of commercial publishers, who, despite only a marginal presence a decade ago, have grown to become key actors on the OA scene, responsible for 120,000 of the articles published in 2011. Publication volume has grown within all major scientific disciplines, however, biomedicine has seen a particularly rapid 16-fold growth between 2000 (7,400 articles) and 2011 (120,900 articles). Over the past decade, OA journal publishing has steadily increased its relative share of all scholarly journal articles by about 1% annually. Approximately 17% of the 1.66 million articles published during 2011 and indexed in the most comprehensive article-level index of scholarly articles (Scopus) are available OA through journal publishers, most articles immediately (12%) but some within 12 months of publication (5%). OA journal publishing is disrupting the dominant subscription-based model of scientific publishing, having rapidly grown in relative annual share of published journal articles during the last decade.
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Contents Executive summary ● Scholarly communication ● The research cycle ● Types of scholarly communication ● Changes in scholarly communication system ● The journal ● What is a journal? ● The journals publishing cycle ● Sales channels and models ● Journal economics and market size ● Journal and articles numbers and trends ● Global trends in scientific output ● Authors and readers ● Publishers ● Peer review. ● Reading patterns ● Disciplinary differences ● Citations and the Impact Factor ● Costs of journal publishing ● Authors’ behaviour, perceptions and attitudes ● Publishing ethics ● Copyright and licensing ● Long term preservation ● TRANSFER code ● Researchers’ access to journals ● Open access ● Drivers of open access ● Open access business models ● Types of open access journal ● Delayed open access ● Open access via self-archiving ("Green" OA) ● Other open access variants ● SCOAP3 ● Open access to scholarly books ● Public access ● System-wide and economic perspectives ● Other developments in open access ● Transition and sustainability issues ● Effect of self-archiving on journals. ● Open access impacts on use ● New developments in scholarly communication ● “Science 2.0” or "Open Science" ● FORCE11 and “Science in Transition” ● Publishing platforms and APIs ● Social media ● Mobile access and apps ● Research data ● Semantic web and semantic enrichment ● New article formats and features. ● Text and data mining ● Reproducibility ● Big data & analytics ● Identity and disambiguation ● Research management and analytics ● FundRef ● Library publishing ● Open Annotation ● Learned societies ● Author services and tools ● Collaborative writing and sharing tools ● Open notebook science ● Conclusions ● Information sources ● Publisher organisations ● Global statistics and trends ● Open access ● Publishing industry research and analysis ● References 180pp
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