Yet again one of my papers is just stuck in limbo at a journal for over 6 months now. One referee has seemingly returned his review and the second referee is playing truant.

I knew this after a polite email to the administrative secretary 3 months after submission. She promised to send an email to nudge the late referee.

Now, after 6 months, I write to the editor in chief to get to know what is going on and he has not bothered to reply for over 2 weeks now.

When I review for this same journal, all of my reviews are returned in time. I setup a google calender reminder 2 weeks prior to my the deadline that I accept and then push everything aside for those 2 weeks to turn in a high quality report. I am going to politely decline any more invitations to review from this journal. The journal is prestigious but there are other less prestigious journals that offer faster review times. At some point in time, the prestige of the journal has to make way for faster dissemination of important results.

I also suspect that the journal is clubby. I have seen rotten articles written by folks in "elite" universities while I have had rejections from that journal even though I proved more theoretical results on a problem (I am an operations researcher) that was published in the same journal. I suspect the journal worries about the authors' zipcode. I published this article in a different journal eventually.

Is there any website where one can anonymously record such experiences for various journals? Once the website gains sufficient traffic, the editorial board of the journals would hopefully be forced to take notice and set right some of the rotten processes.


  • 1
    Perhaps you should run a blog such as cs.sjsu.edu/faculty/stamp/securityJournals.html. Unfortunately, this is the case for all of us. Recently, we had a submission in a prestigious venue that after 80 days Editor-in-Chief sent a letter to inform us that the manuscript is not in the scope of the journal!!! I believe there are always some bias in reviewing and accepting papers.
    – Eilia
    Apr 6, 2019 at 8:27
  • 1
    That is a good site, but SciRev posted by the answerer below is perfect. Hopefully, such horror stories such as yours and mine can be made available for public so that we don't suffer in silence! Good luck in your work.
    – user9734
    Apr 6, 2019 at 9:38
  • Of course, I see no happy end for that :(
    – Eilia
    Apr 6, 2019 at 12:34
  • Related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/2677/…
    – StrongBad
    Apr 6, 2019 at 12:43
  • 5
    Does this answer your question? Is there a place to review journals or conferences?
    – Psychonaut
    May 27, 2020 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


SciRev comes to mind – is this the sort of thing you're looking for?

  • Thank you. That is just what I was looking for!
    – user9734
    Apr 6, 2019 at 9:36
  • do you know if that website allows anonymous reviews? It seems that one has to register with his real university ID. That would destroy the purpose. Just like peer review is blind, so should authors' ratings of journals.
    – user9734
    Apr 6, 2019 at 9:45
  • @Tryer I haven't registered on the site so I'm not sure, but it looks like the reviews are at least displayed anonymous (so I suppose it would be difficult for the casual reader to figure out who wrote the review). I don't know what SciRev's privacy policy is beyond that – maybe worth emailing the team?
    – Kahovius
    Apr 6, 2019 at 10:04