Date of this Version
BACKGROUND Articles published in the research section of Australian Family Physician (AFP) are subject to an editorial process comprising several stages.
METHOD Timelines tracking the movement of each research manuscript submitted to AFP from 2002-2004 through all stages of the editorial process were constructed. Of 179 papers, 130 had sufficiently progressed to be included in this study. Manuscripts were grouped by subject matter into eight categories.
RESULTS Waiting for authors' responses to editorial feedback (with reviewers' reports) was the greatest cause of delay to AFP editorial processes. Peer reviewers took 43 (SD: 102) days to return their report. Authors took 67 (SD: 76) days to resubmit their paper following initial feedback, and a further 48 (SD: 79) days after it had been edited. Mean accumulated time between receipt of a manuscript by AFP and sending it to peer review was 15 days. Once the editorial process was completed, articles were usually published within 3 months. Most research (64%) was on the topic of health services research rather than clinical research (36%). The most common research method was observational (78%) rather than experimental (22%).
DISCUSSION There is less clinical research submitted to AFP than expected for a clinical discipline. Authors and reviewers cause the most delay in manuscripts' passage through the editorial process.
This document has been peer reviewed.