When we started as the Occupational Safety and Health Review Group in 2010, we set ourselves clear targets in terms of how long the peer review process could take. The idea was that we would make sure that authors wouldn't get frustrated because of undue delays due to us.
We promised that we would provide editorial feedback to title proposals in two weeks, to protocols in four and to reviews in six. Now, as we have amassed some experience in running the peer review process, we decided the time was ripe to see if we have actually kept our promise.
The results are both good and bad. With title proposals, the mean number of days from submission to sending collated feedback was 45 (SD 40). This is quite a bit more than 14 days as promised. Not good.
With protocols we get a slightly better result of 49 days (SD 27) but that too is a lot more than the 28 days promised or even 30 days if we round up to a whole month. Tsk tsk!
Finally, with the few reviews that have passed through our wringer, we have managed an average of 32 days (SD 17), which is significantly less than the targeted 48 days. Woo-hoo!
We then thought long and hard what this should mean to us. We came to the conclusion that we would adjust our promises to something more realistic. Henceforth, we aim to complete peer review of titles in three weeks and protocols and reviews in six weeks.
Jani Ruotsalainen, Managing Editor
Jos Verbeek, Coordinatin Editor