An editor’s plea

This is extremely familiar…

I frowned as I looked up from the computer. Yet another author complaining about the long turn-around. It had been six months since the author submitted his paper to the journal. That does seem like a long time. However, I didn’t quite know how to reply. I am not a lazy person. I don’t let submissions sit in the inbox for weeks. As soon as I receive them I start searching for qualified referees. But sometimes referees are hard to come by. I frequently invite 10 referees before finding two who will actually do it. At that point a couple of months have already passed. After yet another month I might receive the referee reports but sometimes the referees are late. In some of those cases, reminder letters help. At other times I am forced to uninvite the referees and find new people. After another couple of months, I may be able to make my decision… [continues]

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