No. WP- 02-12
The Internet and
the Velocity of Scholarly Journal Publishing
Rob Kling & Amanda J. Swygart-Hobaugh
Center for Social Informatics
School of Library and Information Science
July 24, 2002
Scholarly communication via the Internet--be it electronic journals, preprint servers, or transmission of manuscripts via e-mail--has been hailed as the panacea to various woes attributed to traditional modes of scholarly communication. As Kling and McKim (2000) observe, the supporters of the “electronic publishing reform movement” enthusiastically declare thatMany of these claims about e-journals rest on assumptions about the role of the Internet in expediting submission, review, author communication, in effect, speeding up the process of making current research accessible in a timely manner. The prediction -- that the Internet will speed up scientific communication -- is particularly attractive to the scholarly community, wherein professional livelihood (i.e. promotion and tenure) is largely dependent on the amount and the timeliness of publishing in peer reviewed journals. However, the traditional scholarly journal publication process is fraught with delays and inefficiency (Szenberg, 1994; Clark, Singleton-Jackson, and Newsom, 2000). Thus, frustrated with excessive delays between submitting a manuscript and its publication, the scholarly community is looking to electronic technologies as one possible solution to this problem (Trivedi, 1993; Clark et al., 2000; Dióspatonyi, Horvai, and Braun, 2001)… paper has always had one notable drawback. Although it allowed us to encode, preserve and share ideas and findings effectively than we could ever have done orally, its tempo was always lamentably slower
than the oral interactions to which the speed of thought seems organically adapted. Electronic journals have now made it possible for scholarly publication to escape this rate-limiting constraint of the paper medium,
allowing scholarly communication to become much more rapid, global and interactive than ever before (sic). (emphasis added) (Harnad, 1992)1
Some scholarly journals now give preference to web-based submissions of manuscripts. For example, Physical Review Web Submission Guidelines, March 2002, state that…web-based submission and resubmission, including via eprint servers, for all manuscripts to The American Physical Society (APS) is preferred over other methods. ….For Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams (PRST-AB), only web-based submissions are accepted. ….The process for new submissions is detailed but not complicated. (Physical Review D Online, http://publish.aps.org/esubs/guidelines.html)Many steps for manuscript submission to Physical Review are simplified or even skipped if the manuscript was first posted as an electronic manuscript in a repository for physics http://arxiv.org. Under the heading “Resubmissions” (Physical Review Web Submission Guidelines, June 2002), the preference for web-based submission is demonstrated again:If your manuscript was originally submitted by the web, it should, of course, be resubmitted by the web. If you are traveling there is no problem as a resubmission can be made by the web from anywhere; our security features are not tied to a user's IP address. Even if you submitted originally by e-mail or by conventional mail, the web-based resubmission of manuscripts is preferred over other methods. (http://publish.aps.org/esubs/guidelines.html)A logical hypothesis is that electronic technologies would speed up submission to journal publication time because they could radically reduce communication speeds in all communications between authors, editors, reviewers, publishers and readers. Kling and McKim (1997) estimated the role of the Internet is reducing publication2 delays theoretically. They estimated that they might be decreased from 128-308 days (traditional mail), to three to 284 days, depending upon the kinds of digital communication employed. They estimated that publication delays might be 104-284 days (with e-mail attachments), 100-280 days (publication via an electronic journal, with issue packaging), 54-84 days (pure electronic journal, with individual articles), 50-80 days (with an online preprint system, article sent at time of acceptance), or even 3 days (published, unrefereed, in an online repository, manuscript submitted to the repository and to a journal on the same day) (OECD, 1998). Thus, in theory, the development and use of various electronic communication strategies in the process of peer-reviewed scholarly journal publication could accelerate scientific communication. However, little research has been devoted to investigating the recent evolution of journal publication delays and the Internet’s possible influence upon these delays3.
Our study is exploratory in nature. To do a thorough investigation of the impact of Internet capabilities on publication delays, more resources (time and money) would be required. Many confounding variables would need to be examined to thoroughly analyze our findings; some of these variables are outlined in the final conclusions as part of a recommendation for further studies. We realize that the academic milieu has undergone dramatic changes between 1970 and 2000, and that these changes affect publication speed
Some of the major changes that took place in academic communication capabilities during the years of our study began in 1969 when ARPA Net was started. Throughout the 1970’s, computer scientists monopolized computer networks; in 1970 only a few computer scientists employed the computer network; these were ARPA funded scientists. By 1980 some researchers had their papers produced on word processors via clerical staff -- word processing was not generally used by academics. However, by 1990, word processors were commonplace amongst academics. In 1990, Internet access remained limited to major universities, and uneven across departments (ie., commonplace in computer science while much less common in history departments. By the year 2000, most U.S. academics were ‘online’. These are some of the sweeping changes in the academic publishing milieu that need to be addressed for a proper analysis of our findings.
Our primary goal in this exploratory study, is to determine the net effect of the Internet on publishing delays; in this paper we address the following questions:
· Have peer-reviewed journal publication delays decreased with the advent of the Internet?
· Have peer-reviewed journal publication delays decreased dramatically with the advent of the Internet?
· Does exploitation of Internet capabilities vary by discipline?
· Do publication delays vary by discipline?
As noted in previous research, the acceptance of Internet technologies has varied between disciplines (OECD, 1998; Kling and McKim, 2000; Brown, 2001). Thus, anticipating disciplinary variance, we wished to compare specific disciplines from the natural (chemistry and physics) and social sciences (business management, economics, history, and sociology). Initially, we hoped to examine the most prestigious journals from the selected disciplines. However, five of our original selections -- the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, American Economic Review, Management Science, and the American Historical Review -- did not provide the necessary publication information. Unable to locate any sociology or history journals that provided the needed data, we omitted these disciplines from the analysis and added an experimental psychology journal. We also substituted an economics theory journal and a management journal for the aforementioned journals.
Data were obtained from the following six journals: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Physical Review D, Psychological Research, and Strategic Management Journal. Table #1 contains information regarding the separate journals’ prestige as ranked by impact factor and total citations for the year 2000, their publication schedules for the compared years, their electronic availability, and their stance on electronic submission of manuscripts.
We chose to compare the publication delays for articles published in 1970 and in 2000. As the Internet was introduced between these years, we deduced that the change in publication delays between these years should reflect, in part, the influence of the Internet upon the publication process. However, because Strategic Management Journal was first published in 1980, we substituted that volume. Likewise, we substituted the Psychological Research 1980 volume, as the previous volumes were published in German. Wishing to examine whether publication speed has decreased dramatically with the advent of the Internet, as is sometimes suggested (Wills and Wills, 1996; Harnad, 1992) we deemed the 20 to 30-year interim comparison sufficient for our exploratory analyses.
By the year 2000, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D had initiated “fast track” publication features, entitled “Accelerated Publications,” “As Soon As Publishable (ASAP),” and “Rapid Communications,” respectively. Also, the Journal of Biological Chemistry implemented another feature entitled “Papers in Press” in approximately March 2000, which are manuscripts that are published online the day they are accepted but have yet to be copy edited, peer-reviewed, or to appear in a print issue. Therefore, these “fast track” publications would presumably have decreased publication delays when compared to the standard articles of both 1970 and 2000. Thus, we examined these fast track publications to assess whether they had decreased publication delays and whether these delays differed substantially from those of the standard articles.
Due to their voluminous contents, we selected 10 issues from 1970 and 2000 for the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D using systematic random sampling techniques. We then selected 10 standard publication articles from each issue, once again using systematic random sampling. This resulted in 100 standard publication articles sampled for each year (1970 and 2000), 200 total standard publication articles for each journal title. We also sampled approximately 30 articles from the “fast track” publications for each of these journals to compare their publication speed with that of the standard articles for the years 1970 and 2000. Lastly, our sample of 100 articles from the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 2000 contained 59 “Papers in Press” publications. Therefore, along with the aggregate 2000 analyses, we separated the 59 “Papers in Press” publications from the original 100 to compare the change in publication delays for these publications with those prior to this feature’s implementation.
For the remaining journals— Journal of Economic Theory, Psychological Research, and Strategic Management Journal—we selected the entire article population for both years, resulting in the following totals: Journal of Economic Theory, 91 articles; Psychological Research, 68 articles; and Strategic Management Journal, 70 articles.
Definitions and clarification of some scholarly electronic communication (SEC) nomenclature
For the purposes of this study, we defined “publication delay” as the time that elapses between the initial submission of a manuscript and its appearance in print or electronic form. There are many uses of SEC terminology such as preprint, publication (a term in transition which much has been written about, for example see Locally Controlled Scholarly Publishing via the Internet: The Guild Model (Kling, 2002), for clarity, we define our usage here. We define a “preprint” as a manuscript that has been accepted for journal publication, an “article” to be a document that has been accepted for journal publication, and a “manuscript” as a document that has not (yet) been accepted for journal publication. We define “publication” when used in our text to imply: “to make public” (this is the case when referring to all online, non-refereed postings), otherwise, we use the common meaning of “peer-reviewed journal or peer-reviewed online publication.”
Of the six journals examined, all the sampled articles provided dates of the initial reception of the manuscript (i.e. “Received [Month/Day/Year]) and its subsequent publication for both 1970/1980 and 2000. However, only two—Psychological Research and Strategic Management Journal—consistently listed both an initial reception and a manuscript “revised” date (i.e. “Revised [Month/Day/Year]) for both 1970/1980 and 2000. Of the 200 total articles sampled from Physical Review D, 18 listed both reception and revision dates. The majority of the articles selected from the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Biological Chemistry for 2000 contained reception and revision dates, but none of the 1970 articles listed complete publication information. Similarly, while the all the year 2000 articles in the Journal of Economic Theory contained both reception and revision dates, only two of the 1970 articles had the complete publication information.
The majority of sampled articles listing only a reception and publication date produced several methodological dilemmas. For example, did the exclusion of “revision” information indicate the paper was accepted without revisions, or did the editors simply omit a revision date? If the former were true, then the publication delay would theoretically be decreased. However, if the latter is the case, then the total publication delay from submission to publication was accurately reflected by the listed dates. Moreover, the nature of the date listed as “revised” was unclear: did this reflect the date the manuscript was literally revised, or the date when the revised copy was received by the editor and subsequently accepted? Furthermore, if the “reception” date reflected when the editor received the manuscript, accounting for the time lapse between submission and reception, the actual publication delay would be longer.
Consequently, due to inconsistent data and ambiguity of interpretation, we examined the time lag from reception of the manuscript to its publication while excluding discussion of the segmented delays between reception, revision, and publication. Moreover, while the data reflect the lag between reception and publication of a manuscript, we adjusted for the time lapse between submission and reception when interpreting our results.
The Internet has potentially had multiple influences on the publication process, all of which would be difficult, if not impossible, to measure. However, at a minimum, we propose that the ability to transmit a manuscript via e-mail versus traditional mail theoretically would decrease the publication delay by 30 to 54 days (see Table #2). Thus, we offer the following propositions:
· Journals that minimally4 exploit Internet capabilities should have decreased publication delays by a minimum of 30 to 54 days from 1970/1980 to 2000.
· Journals that moderately5 exploit Internet capabilities should have decreased publication delays more than 30 to 54 days from 1970/1980 to 2000.
Table #3 contains data on the publication delays for the journals for the compared years as well as the change in delays between these years. As indicated, only two of the journals—Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of the American Chemical Society—reflected a decrease in publication delays, with the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s delay decreasing an average of 70 days and the Journal of American Chemical Society’s decreasing an average of 47 days from 1970 to 2000. The remaining journals increased their publication delays between the compared years: Physical Review D, 52 days on average; Psychological Research, 220 days on average; Journal of Economic Theory, 484 days on average; and Strategic Management, 649 days on average.
Table #4 contains data comparing the publication delays of the standard publications for 1970 and 2000 with the 2000 “fast track” publications for Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D. As indicated, all of the “fast track” publications had decreased publication delays, both when compared to the 1970 and the 2000 standard publications. The publication delay of the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s “Accelerated Publications” decreased 54 days on average from the 2000 and 124 days on average from the 1970 standard publications. The “As Soon As Publishable” publications of the Journal of the American Chemical Society showed publication delays decreasing by 28 days on average from the 2000 and 75 days on average from the 1970 standard publications. Lastly, Physical Review D’s “Rapid Communications” publications demonstrated a decreased publication delay of 82 days on average from the 2000 and 30 days on average from the 1970 standard publications.
Table #5 contains data comparing the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s average publication delays for 2000 before and after the implementation of the “Papers In Press” feature. As indicated, the articles sampled prior to the “Papers in Press” publications had an average publication delay of 172 days, while the “Papers in Press” publications had an average publication delay of 82 days—a decrease of 90 days on average.
Recall that we estimated journals minimally exploiting Internet capabilities should have publication delays decreasing by a minimum of 30 to 54 days, while journals moderately exploiting Internet capabilities should have publication delays decreasing more than 30 to 54 days. Yet, four of the six examined journals showed increased publication delays for their standard publications, ranging from 52 (Physical Review D), to 220 (Psychological Research), to 484 (Journal of Economic Theory) to 649 days on average (Strategic Management).
Thus, this evidence contradicts the belief that the Internet will “speed up” scholarly communication. All of the journals in our study except Psychological Research are now available electronically, so this particular Internet feature has not significantly accelerated the publication process for these particular journals. However, as the Journal of Economic Theory, Psychological Research, and Strategic Management Journal do not accept electronic submissions at all stages of the publication process, the absence of this Internet feature might account for some lack of publication delay decrease. Yet, the publication delays for these journals being so substantial -- 516 to 895 days -- while the acceptance of electronic submissions might slightly decrease delays, there are obviously other sizeable obstacles that hinder their publication processes.
In contrast, Physical Review D accepts electronic submissions, “prefers” web-based submissions, and even offers a “publication charge discount” for manuscripts submitted in specified electronic formats (http://publish.aps.org/esubs/guidelines.html). Therefore, operating under the Internet “speed up” assumption, one would expect significant decreases in publication delays for this journal. Yet, the publication delays for this journal’s standard articles increased by 52 days on average. What might explain such a contradiction to the Internet “speed up” hypothesis? Possibly, and purely speculatively, authors are not conforming to the “preferred” electronic formats, which would presumably slow the publication process. However, another possible cause might be related to Physical Review D’s average article length doubling from 1970 to 2000. As shown in Table #6, while the page format and publication schedule remained relatively stable from 1970 to 2000, the average article length increased from 8 to 19 pages. Consequently, the doubling of article length might to a certain extent account for the increased publication delay for 2000.
What other factors might account for the comparably excessive publication delays of the Journal of Economic Theory, Psychological Research, and Strategic Management Journal? One possible explanation for the Journal of Economic Theory and Strategic Management Journal’s increased publication delays is that they approximately doubled the number of articles published from 1970/1980 to 2000. As shown in Table #6, while in 1970 the Journal of Economic Theory printed 30 articles, 72 articles were published in 2000, an increase of 42 articles. Similarly, Strategic Management Journal published 25 articles in 1980 and 68 articles in 2000, an increase of 43 articles. Moreover, the Journal of Economic Theory and Strategic Management Journal both increased their publishing schedule from tri-monthly to monthly, which possibly accounts for the increased article publication. Additionally, the Journal of Economic Theory’s average article length increased 1.5 times, or 8 pages. Likewise, Strategic Management Journal’s article lengths increased by 3 pages on average, and its page format change produced an approximate increase of 172 words per page. Correspondingly, while Psychological Research’s average article length decreased by 2 pages, its page format change resulted in an approximate increase of 417 words per page. Therefore, these factors might partially explain the increased publication delays.
Conversely, the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of the American Chemical Society decreased their publication delays respectively by 70 and 47 days on average. However, while a decrease from 47 to 70 days is encouraging, according to our schema, these journals should have decreased their publication delays more significantly. Both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of the American Chemical Society are available electronically, and both facilitate online submissions. In fact, the Journal of Biological Chemistry requires web submissions through its “Online Submission and Review System (OSRS) available at http://www.jbc.org/submit” (http://www.jbc.org/misc/ifora.shtml). In contrast, the Journal of the American Chemical Society provides a “template” for electronic submission, which “authors are encouraged to use…but it is not required,” but requires a “Table of Contents” graphic in PDF format with all manuscript submissions (http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/submission_gen/index.pl?Journal=jacsat).
Thus, the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Journal of the American Chemical Society capitalizing on the available Internet technologies, what might account for the minimal decreases in publication delays? One factor might be that both journals changed from biweekly to weekly publication schedules. Consequently, perhaps the higher volume of articles in the publication process of a given year has slowed production. Yet, the Journal of the American Chemical Society’s number of articles published remained relatively stable from 1970 to 2000, with 970 and 1196 on average for the respective years. However, the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s number of published articles increased considerably, from 857 in 1970 to 5481 on average in 2000. Thus, if the Journal of Biological Chemistry had not increased their published articles so substantially, perhaps their publication delays would have dramatically decreased. However, one might also argue that more frequent publication would produce decreased delays. But, if complemented by substantial increases in published articles, an increased publication schedule’s bearing on publication delay may become insignificant.
“Fast Track” Publications
The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D’s “fast track” publications, however, did show decreased publication delays when compared to the standard publications of 2000, as shown in Table #4. However, from the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Physical Review D’s descriptions of the intended purposes of these “fast track” publications, it is unclear whether or not Internet capabilities play a significant role in speeding the publication process. As described on the Journal of Biological Chemistry Online, “Accelerated Publications” are
intended to present new ideas, new data of special interest and importance, or novel insights into biochemical phenomena that are judged to be of special interest to readers of the JOURNAL…Because of the special nature of Accelerated Publications, the Editors will try to decide very quickly on their suitability for publication (http://www.jbc.org/misc/edpolicy.shtml).
Similarly, Physical Review D explains, “Rapid Communications are intended for important new results which deserve accelerated publication, and are therefore given priority in editorial processing and production to minimize the time between receipt and publication” (http://prd.aps.org/info/polprocd.html). Likewise, both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Physical Review D’s do not post the “fast track” publications to the website immediately, but first include the articles in a print issue that is subsequently posted to the website. Thus, although both these journals illustrate speedier publication for their “fast track” publications, other factors aside from exploiting Internet capabilities may be responsible.
The Journal of the American Chemical Society’s “As Soon As Publishable (ASAP)” and the “Papers in Press” of the Journal of Biological Chemistry appear to owe their speedier publication to Internet capabilities. The Journal of the American Chemical Society’s “ASAP” publications are individual manuscripts that, upon review and editing, are immediately posted to the website (Wilkinson, 1998). Similarly, the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s “Papers in Press” are manuscripts that are published online the day they are accepted and are then copy edited and subsequently published approximately 8 weeks later in a both the online and print versions of the Journal of Biological Chemistry; thus, it is claimed, “this publication mode will reduce the normal time to publication by about 8 weeks” (http://www.jbc.org/pips/index.dtl).
Thus, the “ASAP” and “Papers in Press” publications are essentially published via a “pre-print system, article sent at time of acceptance” (Kling and McKim, from OECD, 1998) and thus decrease publication delays by capitalizing on Internet capabilities. Additionally, Kling and McKim (OECD, 1998) estimate such a “preprint” system should decrease the speed of scholarly communication to 50-80 days total, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry slightly exceeds this estimation, with their “Papers in Press” having a publication delay of 82 days on average. However, the Journal of the American Chemical Society’s “ASAP” publications show a 151 day publication delay on average, only 28 days on average less than the standard 2000 publications. Therefore, while these “preprint system” features did decrease publication delays, the decreases varied considerably between the journals.
Our results support previous findings that the use of Internet technologies for scholarly communication has varied between disciplines (OECD, 1998; Kling and McKim, 2000; Brown, 2001): the natural sciences exploited Internet capabilities to a far greater extent than did the social sciences. As previously noted, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D are available electronically and accept, strongly encourage, and sometimes require web-based submissions. Moreover, both the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of the American Chemical Society have implemented a preprint system feature. In contrast, while the Journal of Economic Theory and Strategic Management Journal are available electronically, both rely upon traditional mail delivery of manuscripts, and both do not accept manuscript submissions via e-mail or the web. Lastly, Psychological Research is only available in print form, relies upon traditional mail delivery of manuscripts, and does not accept electronic submissions via e-mail or the web.
Additionally, as shown in Table #6, the examined natural science journals published more frequently and much more voluminously when compared to the social sciences. Yet, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physical Review D had much smaller publication delays when compared to the Journal of Economic Theory, Strategic Management Journal, and Psychological Research. As indicated in Table #7, the natural sciences average publication delays were 170 for 1970 and 175 days for 2000, while the social sciences reflected average publication delays of 274 for 1970/1980 and 725 for 2000. Thus, speculatively, the examined natural science journals’ exploitation of Internet capabilities has possibly contributed to stabilized publication delays between the compared years.
We offer the following conclusions:
· Have peer-reviewed journal publication delays decreased with the advent of the Internet?
Overall, publication delays have not decreased with the advent of the Internet. While two of the sampled journals showed decreased publication delays, four journals actually experienced increased publication delays. Moreover, all four of the journals that experienced increased publication delays exploit Internet capabilities—with one journal nearly fully exploiting them.
· Have peer-reviewed journal publication delays decreased dramatically with the advent of the Internet?
While two journals experienced decreased publication delays between the compared years, these decreases were minimal rather than dramatic, according to our schema. However, the two journals that implemented “preprint” features experienced a more dramatic reduction in publication delays.
· Does exploitation of Internet capabilities vary by discipline?
· Do publication delays vary by discipline?
Exploitation of the Internet for publishing purposes varies considerably between the natural and social sciences, with the former more readily exploiting Internet capabilities and reflecting comparably decreased publication delays, and the latter virtually excluding Internet capabilities and experiencing substantially increased publication delays. However, whether or not the readied acceptance or exclusion of the Internet directly and significantly influences publication speed is unclear.
We found a zero-sum effect of the Internet on publishing delays. While the present exploratory study speculates as to these findings, several questions arise that require further in-depth analysis:1. What were the submission and acceptance rates (which effect editorial workload) during each of these years?Ideally, these questions would be studied each year, from 1970-2000.
2. When did publication policies change – including the acceptance and the mandate of electronic submissions?
3. Has each journal’s staff size increased, decreased, and received adequate technical support?
4. What are the differences in the proportion of academics receiving secretarial support, now versus in 1970 (and what kind of technical support do they have?)?
5. Was there a setback in publication speed immediately following the various changes in technical advances?
6. Some fields have more technical support than others; has this influenced field by field changes in publication rates?
7. During critical periods of technical advances, did all journals employ the same editorial and other staff, or was there a turnaround (which could influence speed of publication)?
In conclusion, our results challenge the belief that the Internet has speed up scholarly communication through journals across all disciplines. While the Internet may have possibilities for increasing the velocity of the publication process, several other factors, such as publication volume, differential acceptance and/or exploitation of Internet capabilities, disciplinary differences in demand for rapid publication, peer-review processes, submission rates, etc., also play a significant role in this process.
(This study was funded in part by NSF Grant #SBR-9872961 and by the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University. Lisa Spector provided important editorial assistance. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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1. Many claims touting the benefits of electronic media increasing speed of communication have been made, some early examples include: "One of the assumptions about electronic publishing is that speed is a primary benefit." [http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/vpiej-l/vpiej-l.log9210.html]
"The only advantage of the electronic journal is [speed], especially during the reviewing process)." [http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/vpiej-l/vpiej-l.log9210.html], and “Electronic communication is dramatically less expensive than alternatives; access to electronic media is easier and wider; and the systematic use of electronic media can speed up scientific communication” (from Kling and McKim 2000, p. 1309).
2. In Scholarly communication, the term “publication” is used on a continuum. In this case, by “publication”, we mean to ‘make public’. For an in depth discussion of publishing on a continuum see Kling (2002).
3. While Dióspatonyi et al. (2001) briefly mention that “vast changes in publication technology and electronic mail did not result yet in a general speedup of publication” and subsequently state that “it is likely that the possibility of selfpublication on the Web…will push some journals toward more speedy and more disciplined publication” (p. 1456), they express the need for future research rather than further discussing the issue.
4. “Minimally”—Exploit at least one of the various Internet capabilities (i.e. allow transmission of manuscripts via e-mail, require web submissions, have journal articles available electronically, etc.).
5. “Moderately”—Exploit more than one of the various Internet capabilities elaborated above.
Table #1: Journals Examined
Table #2: The Speed of Manuscript Transmission, In days
Table #3: Comparison of 1970/1980 to 2000 Publication Delays, In days1
Table #4: Comparison of 1970 and 2000 Standard to 2000 “Fast Track” Publication Delays, In days
Table #5: Comparisons of the Journal of Biological Chemistry’s Standard to “Papers In Press” Publication Delays for 2000, In days
Table #6: Average Number of Articles, Page Volume, and Article Length
Table #7: Natural versus Social Sciences: Comparisons of Publication Delays