General considations

Publishing research papers can be time and resource consuming for authors. The journey from inception of the research idea to printed research paper can be as long as 3 years. For the publication process itself, from submitting a paper to the journal to responding to reviewer comments to the journal accepting your paper, varies among fields and across journals, but takes on average 6 months. A lot of this time is spent responding to reviewer comments, as this step requires individual responses to each comment from multiple reviewers. Journal administration is another time-consuming part of publication, where a significant amount of time is spent on general responsiveness from the editorial board and finding peer reviewers. Publication turnaround times also depend on the quality of the research paper as written by the author: better quality papers.

Practical example for Life Sciences

Within the life sciences, the average turnaround time tends to be around 3 months. Journals will rarely accept papers on the first submission attempt. Therefore, the turnaround time for publishing your paper must almost always consider the time spent responding to reviewer comments. This depends on the responsiveness and efficiency of you as an author when not only revising the paper in response to the peer review, but also providing a detailed document of all changes you have made and how they address the reviewer’s concerns.

Practical example for Social Sciences

The time taken for publication can vary anywhere from 3 to 12 months (and sometimes longer) depending on the journal submitted to, the time taken by reviewers, and the number and extent of revisions required. Major revisions will generally take the longest as you are required to address each reviewer concern, and it is often up to the reviewer to assess whether you have achieved this when it is sent back to them. Thus, it is in your best interest to address the reviewer concerns as thoroughly as possible to minimise and need for further revision and avoid getting your paper rejected.

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