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Toward more rapid and efficient peer review: A case study on publication in Ecological Research

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Title: Toward more rapid and efficient peer review: A case study on publication in Ecological Research
Authors: Okuzaki, Yutaka Browse this author
Nakamura, Shoko Browse this author
Nakaoka, Masahiro Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: duration of reviewing
publication trends
questionnaire survey
reviewing burden
synthesis output of ecological research forum
Issue Date: Sep-2019
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal Title: Ecological research
Volume: 34
Issue: 5
Start Page: 563
End Page: 574
Publisher DOI: 10.1111/1440-1703.12037
Abstract: The peer-review system ensures the reliability of academic publication. However, authors may be unsatisfied with the duration of peer-review and/or the reviewers' comments, whereas both reviewers and editors have many concerns over peer-reviewing. To provide information to increase the efficiency of the peer-review process for authors, reviewers and editors, we analyzed recent trends in publication and peer-review processes in Ecological Research, and asked Editorial Board members to answer an online questionnaire. The acceptance rate of Original Articles, which accounted for 89.2% of all submissions, was 20.1%, whereas those of Special Features, Data Papers, and Technical Reports were 76.3, 73.7 and 38.3%, respectively. The median number of days to final decision was 168 for accepted manuscripts. The stage when handling editors invited reviewers to review was the longest stage during the peer-review process. This stage was prolonged when potential reviewers declined the invitations to review. The results of the questionnaire revealed that both editors and reviewers felt burdened by the load of peer-reviewing. Most editors encountered declining of peer-review invitations. As the period of assigning reviewers is the most important step in determining the number of days to the final decision, the editorial office should support handling editors to locate reviewers. Motivating reviewers to review manuscripts is another way to speed up the process. Since many respondents indicated that improvements in the logical structure and English standard of manuscripts would facilitate review, authors could improve the process by carefully preparing their manuscripts with consideration to readers, including voluntary reviewers and editors.
Rights: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Ecological Research 34(5) 01 September 2019, pp. 563-574, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:北方生物圏フィールド科学センター (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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