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A STUDY OF PUBLICATIONS DELAYS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128259D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Peter J. Denning: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Many authors complain that editing, refereeing, and publication delays in professional journals are "excessive". Readers compl ain that published materials are not "timely". To see whether there is ally substance to these complaintst I undertook my own study of publica- tions delays for all papers published in two ACM journals and two IEEE journals during the period.June 1975 through December 1978. These were the journals; CACM Communications of the AC14 JACM Journal of the ACM TC IEEE Transactions on Computers TSE IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering This report summarizes the results of my study. I conclude tha t TSE has nearly the minimum delays one can reasonably expect of a refereed journal (14 months from submission to publication) and that the other journals are slower (about 20 months) but otherwise nearly the same. I have no way of knowing whether these delays a re not "timely", but I do believe editing delays are longer than necessary.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

A STUDY OF PUBLICATIONS DELAYS

BY Peter J. Denning

Introduction

Many authors complain that editing, refereeing, and publication delays in professional journals are "excessive". Readers compl ain that published materials are not "timely". To see whether there is ally substance to these complaintst I undertook my own study of publica- tions delays for all papers published in two ACM journals and two IEEE journals during the period.June 1975 through December 1978. These were the journals; CACM Communications of the AC14 JACM Journal of the ACM TC IEEE Transactions on Computers TSE IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering This report summarizes the results of my study. I conclude tha t TSE has nearly the minimum delays one can reasonably expect of a refereed journal (14 months from submission to publication) and that the other journals are slower (about 20 months) but otherwise nearly the same. I have no way of knowing whether these delays a re not "timely", but I do believe editing delays are longer than necessary.

Method

Almost all papers are published with two dates: received and revised. The first indicates the month and year in which the editor first received the paper for consideration. This date usually approxi-mates the time at which the authors completed the research project but.not always because authors.may have tarried or the paper may have been rejected by another journal. The second date indicates the month and year at which the. last revision was received by the editor. The significance of this date is less clear: depending on the editor, it may mean the date of final acceptance or the date at which the final round of refereeing began.

I used these two dates plus the actual date of publication to associate two quantities with each paper:

E Total editing time, the difference (in months) between the received and revised dates, and

P Total printinf, time, the difference (in months) between the revised and publication dates. h ote that E-time includes all delays incurred by the referees, the editor, the authors (in revisions), and the postal service. The P-time includes queueing at the printing office, copyeditingp galley- checking, printing, and distribution; as noted above., it may also include the final round of refereeing for some papers. The total publications delay for each paper is simply the sum E+P.

Table 1 shows the number of papers for which I collected these .data during the observation period (6-75 to 12-78). These data do not include a small number of papers whose received or revised dates

(Image Omitted: TABLE 1. Numbers of Data Points by',journal.)

Purdue University Page 1 Dec 31, 1978

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A STUDY OF PUBLICATIONS DELAYS

(Image Omitted: TABLE 2. Average editing and printing times * by journal for the observation period.)

were not given. They also do not include papers published in special issues or special sections because these papers a...