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I submitted a paper in a springer journal. After just two days of submission status was under review. After another two days status changed to required reviews completed and your days have passed status is still required reviews completed. Why the process is so quick? How can the reviews be completed in just two days? What would happen next?

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    In the old pre-email days, when papers were submitted by postal mail, I once got a letter saying my paper was accepted just a few days after I submitted it. My best guess is that the editor, who I'm told was a speed-reader, had simply read the paper himself and accepted it on his own. I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened to your paper. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 3:28
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    Was this a first submission or a resubmission? Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 6:18
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    I had a reviewer submit her review exactly two hours after I invited her to be a referee.
    – JRN
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 8:39
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    @JoelReyesNoche Was that two-hour review favorable? I can easily imagine producing a report in two hours (or less) if I look at the paper and see that it's junk, or if I see that the main result is something that's already known. But it would take a lot longer to review a good paper. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 15:17
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    @AndreasBlass, the review was not favorable.
    – JRN
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 0:29

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With a ton of context I'd be guessing; without any it's worse than that. Some subjects are no doubt much easier to set up reviews for. Some are much less competitive, needn't have the anonymity as protected, aren't technical. In many subjects your contribution to the field can be quite meaningful without necessarily being disprovable--so the burden on the peer reviewers is more like that on any critic, and less like that of a judge.

When I worked as an editor at a journal considered prestigious in American Studies and Western American Culture/history/writing and that sort of thing--before it went under the next year--my handling-time on unsolicited submissions fell along a bimodal distribution. I was as likely to hammer it out and handle it in the hour as I was to file it away for ... next ... lifetime? Least likely was that I'd get it done in some reasonable amount of time, like two weeks.

All in all I'd guess your piece was "easy" for them. That means one thing or the opposite. To put it kindly (and probably true): not a fit for that journal. OR, definitely a fit, and easy to find reviewers for because of that.

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It definitely can. I doubt it takes more than a day for most people to actually do a review. What takes much longer is for people to set aside the time to do the review. After all, it's not like you have several hours of free time every day.

So yes: it's possible to receive a review within a couple of days of submission. If a single review received is sufficient to update the status to "required reviews completed", then it's possible you will see that status within a couple of days as well.

As for what would happen next: nothing special happens. If there are other reviewers, the editor is likely to wait for them. If there are no other reviewers, you can look forward to a decision soon. (Notably however you can't predict if the decision will be positive or negative.)

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    Hmmm, I'll forgive you ;-) since math isn't your field, but a significant math paper isn't going to be properly evaluated in a day. This is highly field dependent. Of course, crankery might be detected in a day.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 13:15

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