I am wondering how long it takes for the first round review for physical review letters (PRL) on average. I have three referees. One of the referees returned the report in 4 weeks. But the other two referees have not responded to the review requests for 5 weeks. Is it common for PRL?


It can be long; 4 weeks is not uncommon, but much past 6 usually triggers some editorial action. Fortunately APS has a good manuscript system so it’s easy to see of the editor is trying to move things along: watch for reminders sent to referee(s) in the audit trail.

  • Thanks for your answer! What kind of editorial action will happen if it passes 6 weeks? – New Kolege Sep 20 '18 at 3:58
  • Beware the second round of reminders to the referees! For my last paper – Adam Sep 20 '18 at 6:52
  • ... Sent there, we asked what was going on after 2 or 3 months. The editor gave up waiting and sent the only report he had received... – Adam Sep 20 '18 at 6:53
  • @NewKolege normally the system will start sending reminders much more regularly after 4 weeks. After a few of those reminders (~10-14 days) the editor has the choice of either go forward with the reports already submitted or (if she/he cannot reach a decision) send to another referee. My experience is that, unless the paper appears marginal to the handling editor, 1 referee report might be enough (especially if the recommendation is to reject). – ZeroTheHero Sep 20 '18 at 18:40
  • @ZeroTheHero That sounds reasonable. I might get the conclusion of reviews in one or two weeks. – New Kolege Sep 20 '18 at 21:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.