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The Academic Review Process: How Can We Make it More Efficient?

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  • Ofer H. Azar

Abstract

Recently many editors try to reduce the turnaround times of academic journals. Shorter turnaround times, however, will induce many additional submissions of low-quality papers, increasing significantly the workload of editors and referees, and the number of rejections prior to publication. I suggest several ideas how editors can shorten turnaround times and four ideas how they can still avoid frivolous submissions, thus improving the review process efficiency: higher submission fees; requiring authors to review papers in proportion to their submissions; using differential editorial delay—letting low-quality papers wait more; and banning papers from being submitted after a certain number of rejections.

Suggested Citation

  • Ofer H. Azar, 2006. "The Academic Review Process: How Can We Make it More Efficient?," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 50(1), pages 37-50, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:50:y:2006:i:1:p:37-50
    DOI: 10.1177/056943450605000103
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    1. Ofer H. Azar, 2007. "The Slowdown In First‐Response Times Of Economics Journals: Can It Be Beneficial?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(1), pages 179-187, January.
    2. Juin‐jen Chang & Ching‐chong Lai, 2001. "Is It Worthwhile to Pay Referees?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 68(2), pages 457-463, October.
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    15. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
    16. Azar, Ofer H., 2008. "Evolution of social norms with heterogeneous preferences: A general model and an application to the academic review process," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 420-435, March.
    17. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 994-1034, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Damien Besancenot & Kim Huynh & Radu Vranceanu, 2011. "A Matching Model of the Academic Publication Market," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(4), pages 708-725, December.
    2. Zaharie, Monica Aniela & Osoian, Codruţa Luminiţa, 2016. "Peer review motivation frames: A qualitative approach," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 69-79.
    3. Richard V. Adkisson, 2010. "Reptilian Economists of the World Unite: A Tolerance Manifesto," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 55(2), pages 14-23, November.
    4. Justus Haucap & Tobias Hartwich & André Uhde, 2005. "Besonderheiten und Wettbewerbsprobleme des Marktes für wissenschaftliche Fachzeitschriften," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(3), pages 85-107.
    5. Leonid Tiokhin & Minhua Yan & Thomas J. H. Morgan, 2021. "Competition for priority harms the reliability of science, but reforms can help," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 5(7), pages 857-867, July.
    6. Steven M. Shugan, 2007. "The Editor's Secrets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(5), pages 589-595, 09-10.
    7. Azar, Ofer H., 2008. "Evolution of social norms with heterogeneous preferences: A general model and an application to the academic review process," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 420-435, March.
    8. Gao, Ying, 2009. "Single versus multiple submissions in the publication process," ISU General Staff Papers 200901010800001539, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "The Review Process in Economics: Is It Too Fast?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 72(2), pages 482-491, October.
    10. Damien Besancenot & Kim Huynh & Radu Vranceanu, 2009. "The ‘Read or Write’ Dilemma in Academic Production: A Transatlantic Perspective," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 53(1), pages 75-84, March.
    11. Bailey, Charles D. & Hermanson, Dana R. & Louwers, Timothy J., 2008. "An examination of the peer review process in accounting journals," Journal of Accounting Education, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 55-72.
    12. Squazzoni, Flaminio & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Takács, Károly, 2013. "Does incentive provision increase the quality of peer review? An experimental study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 287-294.
    13. Besancenot Damien & Faria João R. & Huynh Kim V., 2014. "Congestion of Academic Journals Under Papers’ Imperfect Selection," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1145-1167, July.
    14. Yuqing Zheng & Harry M. Kaiser, 2016. "Submission Demand In Core Economics Journals: A Panel Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1319-1338, April.
    15. Damien Besancenot & Joao R. Faria & Kim Van Huynh, 2009. "Congestion in academic journals under an impartial selection process," Working Papers halshs-00382585, HAL.
    16. Berg, Nathan & Faria, Joao, 2008. "Negatively correlated author seniority and the number of acknowledged people: Name-recognition as a signal of scientific merit?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1234-1247, June.
    17. Moizer, Peter, 2009. "Publishing in accounting journals: A fair game?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 285-304, February.
    18. Monica Aniela Zaharie & Marco Seeber, 2018. "Are non-monetary rewards effective in attracting peer reviewers? A natural experiment," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(3), pages 1587-1609, December.
    19. Rajeev K. Goel & João Ricardo Faria, 2007. "Proliferation Of Academic Journals: Effects On Research Quantity And Quality," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 536-549, November.

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    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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