Biology Letters does trumpet its submission-to-acceptance time

October 6, 2012

Just a quick one for Matt Butler, who in a comment on the orignal postwrote:

I just looked on the BL website, and the only infromation I could find was “Articles submitted to Biology Letters benefit from its broad scope and readership, dedicated media promotion and we aim for a turnaround time of within 4 weeks to first decision.” This sounds like a much more reasonable claim to make and one that would be harder to fudge.

I just looked as well, and here’s what I saw:

Front page of Biology Letters web-site,, as of 7:12am on Saturday 6 October 2012

So there it is, prominently displayed right on the front page:

Average receipt to acceptance time: 28 days

So it’s not just that false submission-to-acceptance dates are given on individual papers; but the false average is used as a promotional tool.

7 Responses to “Biology Letters does trumpet its submission-to-acceptance time”

  1. Josephinene Says:

    I remember one of my friends pulling his hair over this a while back. I don’t think Biology Letters was the culprit, but it doesn’t matter; stating average acceptance times that have little to do with the real situation just breeds unnecessary frustration and may make authors think twice before submitting their next manuscript to the same journal. In other words, the journal is essentially shooting itself in the foot in the long term by providing authors with inaccurate information.

  2. Mike Taylor Says:

    Right. Given that journals stand or fall by their reputation with academics, it’s a horribly short-sighted strategy to buy impressive statistics by lying. But then since the Royal Society is run for, and largely by, academics, you’d think they’d know that.

  3. […] response to our recent post about reject-when-you-mean-revise and submission-date massaging at Royal Society journals, Susie Maidment tweeted: @H_Mallison as far as I can tell this is pretty […]

  4. Dawn Says:

    Ummm…isn’t 28 days 4 weeks?

  5. Mike Taylor Says:

    Yes, it is. I don’t understand what your point is.

  6. […] longer provide peer reviews for Royal Society journals until they adopt honest editorial policies; Biology Letters does trumpet its submission-to-acceptance time; Lying about submission times at other journals?; Discussing Biology Letters with the Royal […]

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