Seasonal bias in editorial decisions for a physics journal: you should write when you like, but submit in July
Abstract:A recent discussion on possible seasonal bias in editorial decisions yielded discrepant results for different journals. All studies agreed that further investigations in different fields are necessary. In this article submission and acceptance data are analyzed using a sample that is much larger than the previously investigated datasets. Specifically all the 15,478 submissions to EPL (formerly Europhysics Letters) submitted within the 12 years from 1999 to 2010 are included. While trends in the yearly number of submitted papers can be seen, these are also reflected in the number of accepted and rejected papers. Monthly fluctuations in the rate of acceptance are strong; averaging over several years smoothes these fluctuations and shows a clear maximum in July. Even more conspicuous fluctuations are found for the acceptance time, i.e.the duration of the reviewing process. Averaging over several years shows that this process is longest for manuscripts submitted in January, May and October.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-04-01
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