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Rejections and the Importance of First Response Times (Or: How Many Rejections Do Others Receive?)

  • Ofer Azar

    (Northwestern University)

Previous studies about the academic publishing process consider the publication delay as starting from the submission to the publishing journal. This ignores the potential delay caused by rejections received from previous journals. Knowing how many times papers are submitted prior to publication is essential for evaluating the importance of different publication delays and the refereeing process cost, and can improve our decisions about if and how the review process should be altered, decisions that affect the productivity of economists and other scholars. Using numerical analysis and evidence on acceptance rates of various journals, I estimate that most manuscripts are submitted between three and six times prior to publication. This implies that the first response time (the time between submission and first editorial decision) is much more important than other parts of the publication delay, suggesting important policy implications for editors and referees.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series General Economics and Teaching with number 0309002.

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Date of creation: 04 Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0309002
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  1. Laband, David N, 1990. "Is There Value-Added from the Review Process in Economics? Preliminary Evidence from Authors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 341-52, May.
  2. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "The Review Process in Economics: Is It Too Fast?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 482–491, October.
  3. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory," NBER Working Papers 7805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
  6. Azar, Ofer H., 2002. "The slowdown in first-response times of economics journals: Can it be beneficial?," MPRA Paper 4478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 194-203, February.
  8. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-67, December.
  9. Engers, Maxim & Gans, Joshua S, 1998. "Why Referees Are Not Paid (Enough)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1341-49, December.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  11. Trivedi, Pravin K, 1993. "An Analysis of Publication Lags in Econometrics," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 93-100, Jan.-Marc.
  12. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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