One of the recent additions to the EconStor collection was a working paper from CESifo called “A Decade of Editing the European Economic Review”. In this paper the authors describe their experiences as editors and also present some interesting insights.
As one the leading journals in Economics, the European Economic Review (EER) currently receives about 550 submissions per year, about 200 more than ten years ago. As the peer review duties are still mainly voluntary work, this implies long delays before a paper is published:
“Long delays between the submission of a paper and the time when an author receives an editorial decision are a problem in today’s culture of economics journals. From the start, we tried to work against this problem with various measures. One of the first we took was to introduce turbo rejects, i.e., rejections of papers without giving them to reviewers. The idea was to return to the authors immediately papers that we as editors thought had very small chances of making it through the reviewing process successfully (…)
With regard to the number of submissions, the increase from around 350 to 550 per year with a steady number of Associate Editors implied that we had to assume the role of AE’s on an increasingly bigger number of manuscripts. This meant identifying referees ourselves for a bigger share of submitted papers. Finally, in spite of incentives offered for timely reports, we encountered great difficulties with some reviewers. It was not uncommon for the editorial office to find it necessary to send second and third reminders to reviewers who promised reports but never delivered. “
Another interesting fact is the submission fee (currently 125 €) charged from the authors, even when the paper is rejected. While author fees are quite common with Open Access Journals, it seems surprising for subscription-based like the EER, where the annual (institutional) subscription price for the journal is almost 2000 € per year.