Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Median times from submission to acceptance at finance journals

The traditional time metric that nearly all journals report is the mean/median time of a single round review. ... Since the large majority of articles are rejected, the mean single round turnaround time can be thought of (metaphorically anyway) as the mean/median rejection time. ...

However, if we place ourselves in the shoes of an Assistant Professor facing a fixed tenure deadline, they won’t be successful if they submit a tenure dossier with a long list of rejections – they need acceptances. They want to know the mean/median acceptance time. That is, the mean/median time that eventually-published articles take from first-round submission to final round acceptance. Editors have pointed out to me that they don’t control how long authors take to revise their paper, which is certainly true. But journals do influence the mean/median author revision time by how many and what kind of revision demands are typically made, by the editor’s typical revision instructions, etc. ...

I collect the publication history of articles published in the “top-20” academic finance journals (defined below) and in “top-tier” academic business journals (defined below) from 2012 to 2015. ...

I find that the median acceptance times of the top-five general-interest finance journals from fastest-to-slowest are Journal of Financial Economics (JFE): 9.9 months; Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA): 10.6 months; Review of Finance (RF): 11.7 months; Review of Financial Studies (RFS): 15.5 months; and Journal of Finance (JF): 19.8 months. The mean acceptance times are similar and have the same ordering as the medians.