Poll about referee practices

Over at Reviewer 2 Must be Stopped, there are regularly posts saying “I’ve been waiting 6+ months for a result” which spark a slew of people saying that this wait time is inexcusable. My suspicion is that this is something which varies significantly by discipline; but I also wonder how many people who think such a wait time is inexcusable have heavy referee loads themselves that they turn around quickly. I put a poll up on the group to gather some information, but alas it doesn’t allow for anonymity, which makes me think I’ll get no responses in the “it takes me 6+ months to submit a report” option.

So I’ve created two polls which should be anonymous here, and even though this blog is aimed at people in philosophy, I still think the results should be of interest.

Polls close in 1 week.


One thought on “Poll about referee practices

  1. Richard Zach

    I appreciate what you’re trying to do but I’m not sure this is the best way to do it. People are really bad at estimating how much time they take “on average” to do something if the activity varies widely in terms of the time required. The last time I refereed something, it took 2 hours. But I have to admit I’ve also taken many months. Why? Well, some papers are easy to referee. Some are hard, and will require a solid couple of days to read and assess. But I rarely have 2 days where I have nothing more urgent to do than to referee a paper. Some editors give me a deadline and remind me; some online systems will even automatically de-invite referees. If we want to find data for the discipline, it might be better to get a large sample but ask people just about their last referee assignment, and also ask them about details about the paper: how long was it? Which journal? Which subfield? Did you have a deadline? Did you get reminders? Were you invited during term or in the summer? Etc. This way we wouldn’t just get a more accurate estimate, we might also find out some interesting things like when to submit a paper for best turn-around time, etc.


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