Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Friday, April 02, 2004
This flow chart (from First Monday) is a reasonable representation of how most peer-reviewed journals work. Depending on the journal, the longest part of the process is most often the arrow between the box containing "The paper is submitted to no fewer than three editors (or referees) for review and comments" and the box containing "Comments are collected and returned to the author anonymously." Some journals in economics are as quick as six weeks (Economics Letters is a good example) and some can take as long as a year or more (I oncce had a paper at the Journal of Industrial Economics for 13 months until it was rejected).
Overall, the longest I have gone from submission to publication was at Applied Economics Letters - I had a paper accepted in October of 2001, after a short five week submission period, but the paper was not published until February of 2004. my next longest experience, Journal of Business - the paper was submitted in January 2002, utlimately accepted January 2003, and ultimately published April 2004.
Here is a site that records feedback about peer-reviewed journals from those who have had good or bad experiences. Most people who are motivated to share their experiences at a journal are likely to be self-selected to have negative impressions. However, the site is still informative of some of the nightmares that can occur - especially for the American Economic Review.
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