Editorial delay of food research papers is influenced by authors§ experience but not by country of origin of the manuscripts


Editorial delay, the time between submission and acceptance of scientific manuscripts, was investigated for a set of 4,540 papers published in 13 leading food research journals. Groups of accelerated papers were defined as those that fell in the lower quartile of the distribution of the editorial delay for the journals investigated. Delayed papers are those in the upper quartile of the distribution. Editorial stage is related to the peer review process and two variables were investigated in search of any bias in editorial review that could influence publication delay: countries of origin of the manuscript and authors? previous publishing experience in the same journal. A ranking of countries was established based on contributions to the leading food research journals in the period 1999?2004 and four categories comprising heavy, medium, light and occasional country producers was established. Chi square tests show significant differences in country provenance of manuscripts only for one journal. The results for influence on editorial delay of cross-national research and international collaboration, conducted by means of the Fisher statistic test, were similar. A two-tailed Student?s t test shows significant differences (p<0.05) in the distribution of experienced and novel authors across the delayed and accelerated groups of papers. Although these results are time and discipline limited, it can be concluded that authors? publishing experience causes a faster review and acceptance of their papers and that neither country of provenance nor cross-national research influence the time involved in editorial acceptance of the papers.