On August 16, 2021, Daniel Hamermesh, Barnard Distinguished Scholar and instructor of economics, alongside Aboozar Hadavand and Wesley W. Wilson, co-authored a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), titled “Publishing Economics: How Slow? Why Slow? Is Slow Productive? Fixing Slow?.” The article examines the publishing process for economics research and explores why the timeline for releasing scholarly works in this field often extends far beyond that of other disciplines. In the natural sciences the average article in the most prestigious publications is in print 9 months after submission; in other social sciences, in 23 months; in economics, in 34 months.
Professor Hamermesh et al. discovered that a significant portion of this extended timeline can be attributed to authors’ delays in revising, creating longer resubmission and review processes. This delay holds significant implications for the publishing of research in the field of economics — not only does it result in reduced productivity for academic journals, but it is associated with reduced scholarly impact. This, in turn, may also reflect poorly on the authors. With these implications in mind, Professor Hamermesh and his co-authors offer suggestions for how to decrease the lag in publishing, which includes implementing “no-revisions” policies and creating strict time limits for the revision process.