Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Submissions to the Astrophysical Journal - What experience do you have

  1. Nov 21, 2008 #1
    I sent an article to ApJ for a while ago. This article is a summary of the results of my research in a relevant subject. It was sent 1,5 months ago. The answer from the editorial board so far is that it is in progress. How long does it usually tend to go from it is submitted until we get a response concerning the assessment of the article? Do you have any experience with this?

    Have a nice weekend ! :-)

    Best regards
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I can't speak for the Astrophysical Journal specifically.

    In general, the peer review process goes as follows.
    - receipt of the manuscript by the journal
    - journal assigns an associate editor
    - associate editor identifies and contacts mulitple reviewers
    - reviewers review the article and give their response to the associate editor
    - associate editor reviews the reports makes a decision
    - authors are contacted

    Sometimes this process can take a while, since some reviewers don't respond immediately. Sometimes the manuscript has to be sent to multiple potential reviewers before anyone even agrees to look at it (it can be especially time consuming if the material in the manuscript targets a small "niche" area of research). Then reviewers are supposed to return their reports within a couple of weeks. This doesn't always happen - even if they agree to the deadline. In these situations, the associate editor has to "hound" the reviewers. The review process is on a volunteer basis too, so there are essentially no reprecussions for a late review (other than a delay in publication of presumably relevant material).

    I've had manuscripts that have taken 6 months to get reviewed - and with minimal revisions required. (Again, not with ApJ.)

    In general, I think after 2 months, if you haven't heard anything, a polite correspondence with the journal's editor is appropriate.
  4. Nov 21, 2008 #3
    Thank You for a very good and informative answer. Have a nice evening and weekend.

    Best regards
  5. Nov 21, 2008 #4


    User Avatar

    I've published in ApJ, and my adviser has edited for them. Within a few days of submission (usually the following Tuesday, I believe) the paper will be assigned to one of the senior editors (you should have received an email with your editors name). This is, of course, if it was not rejected outright. After that, your editor will ask someone in the field if they would be wiling to review it. It might take a few days to a week to find someone to review it, and then they usually give them several weeks to read it before sending a reminder. All in all, 1.5 months is about the max of how long it should take to get your first review. If I were you, I'd send a polite email to your editor asking for an update on the status of your paper. That will prompt them to try to get an answer from the reviewer, which might take another week (because, speaking as someone who has reviewed a few papers, that's usually when you actually start reading it).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook