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Subject: Re: How long does it take to evaluate a paper?
From: Chuck Coutant <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 1 Aug 2000 08:19:13 -0400

text/plain (80 lines)

Note:  I was encouraged to post this reply to Juan Manuel Jimenez M. to the
list after replying to him directly.  Dr. Silvert thought it would be of
general interest.

Dear Juan: I was editor of Transactiions of the American Fisheries Society
for 3 years (a job done in addition to my regular research work). A
turnaround to the author of about 4 months from submission of a paper is a
reasonable maximum time.  It takes a couple months to get peer reviews
processed.  Then the editor must edit the manuscript.  If we do it well,
it takes several days per manuscript to understand what was said, understand
what the reviewers meant by their comments, and then to help the author
put in good words what he/she really wants to say (such writing help is not
needed for all manuscripts, but for many).  Submissions tend to come in
spurts, so there is often a backlog on the editor's desk.  In spite of an
editorial race to keep processing time to a minimum, the real delay comes
from authors not revising their manuscripts promptly after they are
returned.  We often had to send reminders after a year.  But I agree that
7 months is too long to wait for a response after submission.  Contact the
editor.  Editors are real people, and they may have a good reason why your
paper is behind schedule.  There may have been an especially tardy
reviewer and an alternative reviewer had to be sought, thus doubling the review
time.  Who knows.  It is entirely acceptable to ask them about it.  I
fielded many such calls.  Good luck.
---Chuck Coutant

----- Original Message -----
From: Juan Manuel Jiménez M. <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sexta-feira, 28 de Julho de 2000 16:54
Subject: How long does it take to evaluate a paper?

> dear Fish-ecol. scientists,
> I am making this inquiry on behalf of a friend. He sent a manuscript to a
> recognized international journal 7 months ago. Although the MS was
received by
> the editor and sent out for reviews, my friend has not yet received the
> reviewers evaluations. Since we are new in this process, we would like to
> if this is a normal period of time. Sorry to use the list for this purpose
> my friend needs to know if he should keep waiting or write to the
> editor.
> Thank you very much for your comments,
> Sincerely,
> Juan Manuel

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------- End of Forwarded Message
Charles C. Coutant, Ph. D.
Environmental Sciences Division
PO Box 2008; Mail Stop 6036
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