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Reviewing Times

There are two time intervals in the process of publishing a CL paper which we have relatively little control over: the time it takes for reviewers to return their reviews, and the time it takes for an author to undertake requested revisions to their paper.

When we provide a paper to a reviewer to review, we request that the review be returned within two weeks for short papers and one month for long papers. We send reviewers a reminder between 4 and7 days before the due date; we then send a reminder about 4 days after it and about every fortnight from thereon.

Our data for 2007 (all numbers discussed on this page are for 2007) indicates that the mean time it takes for a reviewer to return a review is 38 days; but this mean hides a fair bit of variation. The maximum time taken by any review was 125 days; the breakdown of extremely late reviews is as follows:

A further delay is introduced if we decide to give up on someone's review through its likelihood of not appearing. When this happens, we sometimes seek a replacement review, or go with the reviews already at hand, depending on the degree of consensus they indicate. In 2007, we only gave up on a reviewer two or three times.

However, the average time for a single reviewer to return his or her review is a little misleading. The reviewing process starts when the first reviewer receives their paper and ends when the last reviewer returns their review. The average length of this process is 63 days.

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Last Modified: 8th July 2009