Covid-19 refereeing duration and impact in major medical journals
AbstractTwo partly conflicting academic pressures from the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic are the need for faster peer review of Covid-19 health-related research and greater scrutiny of its findings. This paper investigates whether decreases in peer review durations for Covid-19 articles were universal across 97 major medical journals, Nature, Science, and Cell. The results suggest that on average, Covid-19 articles submitted during 2020 were reviewed 1.7-2.1 times faster than non-Covid-19 articles submitted during 2017-2020. Nevertheless, whilst the review speed of Covid-19 research was particularly fast during the first five months (1.9-3.4 times faster) of the pandemic (January-May 2020), this speed advantage was no longer evident for articles submitted November-December 2020. Faster peer review also associates with higher citation impact for Covid-19 articles in the same journals, suggesting it did not usually compromise the scholarly impact of important Covid-19 research. Overall, then, it seems that core medical and general journals responded quickly but carefully to the pandemic, although the situation returned closer to normal within a year.
CitationKousha, K. and Thelwall, M. (2022) Covid-19 refereeing duration and impact in major medical journals. Quantitative Science Studies, 3 (1), pp.1–17. https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00176
JournalQuantitative Science Studies
Description© 2022 The Authors. Published by MIT Press. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00176
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/