What is the average time does it take from the time you submit your paper to the time is it published in Physical Review Letters?

marked as duplicate by Solar Mike, scaaahu, Richard Erickson, Scientist, Jon Custer Jul 23 at 18:46

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  • Unless they publish the information, or someone has done some research on this (relatively minor) problem it is hard to know. But I'll point out, in case you are interested in what is happening with your paper, that the average is essentially meaningless in interpreting any particular paper. – Buffy Jul 18 at 19:31
  • It strongly depends on the paper that you submitted to Physical Review Letters or any other journal. I mean there is no strict time frame... – Alone Programmer Jul 18 at 19:32
  • Mathematically speaking, the average is infinite, as many submissions get declined and thus never published. But anecdotally they pride themselves on being really fast and only give reviewers a single week, so I would expect the average of accepted papers to be in the order of a few weeks as well. – mlk Jul 18 at 21:24

There are some old slides from a colloquium given by a Physical Review editor containing some relevant statistics for the year 2008. I assume it's trustworthy data, but it might be a bit outdated. The most relevant slide is:

Time from submission to acceptance

Hence, in 2008, the average time from submission to acceptance in PRL was 138.52 days, or just over four and a half months. The median was just under four months. Since then they have talked repeatedly about a) reducing handling times, and b) being more selective, so handling times might well have changed. I don't know if there's any more recent statistics publicly available, but this data should at least give a reasonable first approximation. For time from submission until publication, I would anecdotally say that you can add another 2-4 weeks for production.

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