Backlog (academic journals)
Usage of the term
The backlog is usually described in months; for instance, a certain journal could have a backlog of 12 months, which means that on average it takes one year for the journal to publish a paper that has been accepted. This waiting time adds on top of the time between initial submission and acceptance of a paper, which can also vary.
Some journals have a backlog of more than a year, which is usually caused by the journal's editors' decision to accept more or longer papers than the journal publishes in a certain time interval.
The American Mathematical Society publishes a list of the backlog of mathematical journals each year in the November issue of the Notices.
If a journal has a heavy backlog, this might have the effect that the journal is less likely to accept papers in the future, or even reject all manuscript submissions temporarily.
- Robin Derricourt (1996). An Author's Guide to Scholarly Publishing. Princeton University Press. pp. 176. https://archive.org/details/authorsguidetosc00derr.
- "Backlog of Mathematics Research Journals". https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/201910/rnoti-p1713.pdf.
- "Journal with two-year publication backlog refuses submissions". 2018-08-20. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/journal-two-year-publication-backlog-refuses-submissions.
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