Suppose a simple to understand paper is submitted to a peer-review journal and the length of paper is also small. Suppose it takes at most 10 hours for an expert to review the paper.

Then, is it true that the paper decision will come very quickly or are there any rules regarding minimum time for decision based on journal?

  • 5
    A too simple and too short paper gets probably desk-rejected, so yes that is often fast ;-) – koalo Aug 19 '18 at 21:29
  • Means the editor rejects the paper or referee? – hind Aug 19 '18 at 21:33
  • But the papers like counter example to a conjecture, small novel theorem etc., are generally too short and experts can understand by seeing once. – hind Aug 19 '18 at 21:36
  • 3
    In my field, 10 hours is a lot of time to review a single paper. – Austin Henley Aug 19 '18 at 21:44
  • @hind Pick a venue that publishes short results. (See savageminds.org/2012/11/08/desk-reject regarding desk reject, or google.com/search?q=desk+reject.) – user2768 Aug 20 '18 at 8:23

In general, no. Most of the time you wait for your paper to be accepted or rejected is waiting time and process time, not review time.

First, it sits in the editor's queue until they can review it. Then, they have to find and solicit reviewers and wait for their responses.

Then they send it out to the reviewers. Then it sits in their email or on their desk until they get around to it.

Finally, they review your paper! Then type up notes and send it back. A long or a short paper or quick or hard to understand will only change this time chunk here.

Then their response sits in the editor's inbox until they read it, make a decision based on it, and pass it on to you.

(Plus repeat for any additional rounds of revision.)

As you can see, most of the time is wait time, not affected by the length or the complexity of the paper.

I've had papers wait months on a reviewers' desk.

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