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Science journals: Please do it faster

timely publication, reviewers

Most common method of reporting any new finding made by a researcher is to publish the work in a relevant scientific journal. In science timely publication is very important, as new data and findings are generated at a tremendous pace. Any worthy finding must be published as soon as possible to make full sense of it. Delay in the process of publication may leave the data in question partially or completely outdated.

Though a large number of journals are available for a researcher to opt from, very few among them process the manuscripts at a reasonable pace. Most of the efficient journals will take somewhere between 1-3 months to reach a decision on a given manuscript. That is quite a reasonable time, but unfortunately many on the other hand take much longer, in some cases more than a year. Situation becomes frustrating for the author when these slow journals do not care to respond to any of their mail.

This snail like pace of the publication process not only frustrates the author but also harms Science by publishing the work after a considerable delay when it might have gone obsolete. Even if the manuscript is to be rejected, that should also be done fast, so that author can communicate it to some other journal.

Reviewers have an important role to play here, as they are the people (and not necessarily the journal office) whose pace of work will determine the length of a review process. Most reviewers themselves being senior scientists must understand and appreciate the importance of fast and timely publication of a new finding. If paying the reviewers a reasonable reward can improve the situation, that should also be done.

In this age of fast electronic communication sending manuscripts to and fro for review/revision has become much easier and faster, so journals must come forward in fulfilling their obligation towards timely publication of any worthy research. Moreover despite the availability of a medium as efficient and fast as internet, few journals still demand manuscripts on paper through post, which further contributes to the total length of manuscript processing.
Published: 2009-08-14
Author: vijay kothari

About the author or the publisher
I am a microbiologist, acting as an Assistant Professor in Science with Nirma University. My current research is focused on natural products.

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