Recently I was handling submission of a paper to a journal. I was somewhat surprised that I was asked to return the corrections to galley proofs in 48 hours.

To ensure fast publication of your paper please return your corrections within 48 hours. ... Note that may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

How usual is it, that only a short period is left for the authors to return page proofs? Do many journals allow similar time span? Or is a longer period customary?

I can imagine situations in which I would not be able to respond in 48 hours.

What would happen if I reacted only later, not within the time period required by publisher (48 hours in this case)? Is it probable that they would still incorporate the corrections if I emailed a bit later? (Or if I emailed them that I am unable to complete this in 48 hours and explained the reasons.)

  • Since the link was edited away from the question, I just mention in comment that this Google search suggests that there is quite a lot of journals which require galley proofs to be returned in 48 hours period.
    – Martin
    Jun 14, 2014 at 8:52
  • 1
    a simple Google search is not a proper indicator of the importance of a rule. For instance, on page 10 (so after less than 100 links), one link is proposed because "Lidiane Silva, et al., /Journal of Natural Products, Vol. .... P=0.03) and 48 hours (Q =12.1; P=0.03) in the third week after exposure and for those exposed for 72 ...", and the linked PDF has proof in the title.
    – user102
    Jun 14, 2014 at 9:38
  • @CharlesMorisset but you do not seem to get any relevant hits with a search for 24 hours. This suggests 48 hours might be the lower limit.
    – StrongBad
    Jun 14, 2014 at 9:42
  • @StrongBad: I'd be interested in seeing an actual comparison of different time spans allowed by journal, I just wanted to point out that I removed the link from the original question because as such, it was not providing much.
    – user102
    Jun 14, 2014 at 9:49
  • @StrongBad: For info, both google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=journal%20proofs%20%227%20days%22 and google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=journal+proofs+%22one+week%22 return more results.
    – user102
    Jun 14, 2014 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


With Wiley, the journal I edit has a one-week period for returning proofs. This is set by Wiley and not by the journal. If proofs are not sent in, at some point within another week, the typesetter will typically ask for the proofs through a production editor. This is because the typesetter has the manuscript along with, I would guess, hundreds of other proofs lined up in a production line and at some point they do not want things lying around for very long. So in this case, not much happens if proofs are late and I have never seen any serious repercussions from the publisher's side affecting authors. In the worst case a paper that has been assigned to a specific issue may be moved to a later issue since the production of issues (physical printing) is not possible to adjust other than under exceptional conditions. In the end, it will the author's loss if the paper is not published as early as it could. Since for most papers, electronic publication occurs before printing, the delay just means the paper appears online later by the same amount of time or more; it can be bumped in the production line of the typesetter in favour of those that come in on time.

In my experience, it is not possible to get corrections done after returning the proof corrections. One can always try but if the paper has been corrected and published online, there is no other option than to live with the problem or if it is in some way critical, go through the journal editors to possibly publish an errata.


For journal articles 48 hours is not uncommon. I have never experienced less and I have never had considerably longer. If you let most journals know when you can return them, they will generally either allow you to submit them later, but this will often result in the article publication date being pushed back. In some cases the journal cannot comply (e.g., special issues) and then they may attempt to publish without you reviewing the page proofs.

The idea of page proofs is that you are checking to see if any copy edits they made are correct and that the proofs are an accurate representation of what you sent in. It shouldn't take very long to review the proofs (a couple of hours at most).

  • The publisher Optica has reduced their deadline to 24 hours. May 10, 2023 at 14:18

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