Note that the following figures are averages. Individual results may and will vary. An average of 45 may mean that one paper takes 10 days and the other paper takes 80 days to make an initial decision!
As a matter of principle, we do not respond to requests for predictions on when we will make a decision for a specific paper or respond to requests for a "status update" (What is the status of my submission?).
Depending on the month of submission and number of submissions (which varies by season), the average time of submission to initial decision ranges between 44 days and 87 days.
This includes all peer-reviewed submissions. For fast-tracked papers, we promise <3 weeks (21 days).* Also see How to fast-track (expedite) a paper and what are the benefits?
Not including Canadian, US and European bank holidays, and excluding the days in the period between Dec 23rd - Jan 1st (of each year).
Not including the period between Dec 23rd-Jan 1st. Days where we wait for a response from author(s) to copyediting or proofreading requests are also not counted.
Average time of acceptance to publication in days 2013-2016 (updated: 4/Mar/2017): 35 days
Note that this includes the time for payment and copyediting, thus it can be influenced by delays on the author side. For fast-tracked papers, we promise publication within 4 weeks (see also How to fast-track (expedite) a paper and what are the benefits?).
How can authors speed up the decision making process?
Most papers are stuck in peer-review because at least one reviewer recommended a rejection or a transfer to another JMIR journal. To avoid this, here are some tips to avoid that your paper is an outlier in terms of initial decision time:
- Consider to publish the protocol first. Among many other benefits such as a discount for subsequent full-paper submissions, this also speeds up the peer-review process, see (Why should I publish my protocol or grant proposal?)
- Submit the best paper possible - spend an extra day or two carefully proofreading your manuscript by all authors (and for non-native writers, we strongly recommend to have your work reviewed by a native speaker) before submission. These 1-2 extra days may save you weeks or months if your paper is still in draft form
- Spend extra time to refine the title (What are JMIR's guidelines for article titles?) and especially the abstract (Guidelines for Writing Abstracts). This is the most read part of the paper and the only part reviewers see when they make a decision on whether or not to review a paper. Make it interesting and understandable, avoid jargon, and report the background as if you are explaining your research to your grandmother, accurately report the methods so it is clear what you did and how you did it without having to read the full paper, report your quantitative results (don't forget simple things like sample size etc) even if they are negative, don't sensationalize or overreach in your conclusions and remain self-critical about the impact of your work
- Choose the right keywords on submission (Choosing Keywords), and plenty of them (a dozen is a good number). Not too specific, but also not too broad, or mix specific ones and broader ones. Also use synonyms ("mhealth", "mobile health", "apps", ..)
- Adhere to reporting guidelines, in particular for randomized trials (CONSORT-eHealth) and systematic reviews (PRISMA)
- Submit to the correct journal. Given widespread misuse of the impact factor (What is Impact Factor misuse?), we totally get that everybody wants to publish in the journal with the highest impact factor, but not only is this rooted in a misconception about the validity and appropriateness of the impact factor to judge individual work, it should also be clear that not every paper is suitable and strong enough to be published in the top digital health journal. Unlike some other open access publishers, we do not accept every paper that is publishable. Instead, we propose a publication strategy that takes into account the stage, target audience, and strength/clinical applicability of the research (seeWhere (in which journals) should I publish what, and what should be my research and publication strategy to maximize impact and dissemination of my ehealth/mhealth/digital medicine research?). For example, protocols should go into JMIR Research Protocols, formative research goes into JMIR Formative Research, and research with clinical implications for specialists go into the specialist journals (What is the difference between JMIR and a JMIR specialty/sister journal?).
- (after submission) Consider to suggest a journal transfer as an option: If you find yourself waiting for a decision too long, please consider whether you submitted to the right journal, and you can always indicate your willingness to have a submission transferred to another JMIR journal, even after submission and even during peer-review (How do I request a manuscript transfer to another journal?).
Are you looking for a rapid decision because you wish to cite your ongoing or pilot work in a grant proposal?
- Consider fast-tracking your paper (How to fast-track (expedite) a paper and what are the benefits?)
- Make your paper available as a Preprint (What are JMIR Preprints?). When you submit a paper to a JMIR journal, select "Open Peer-Review" as an option (What is open peer-review?). Your paper will then get a DOI and is immediately after submission citable as a Preprint, which many grant agencies such as NIH or MRC now encourage.
- Once a paper is accepted, you can rapidly disseminate it on Pubmed within 24-48 hours using our "Pubmed Now!/AoP" option (What is the "PubMed Now!" ("ahead-of-print") option when I pay the APF?)