Summer is always a tough time for journal editors and all the best laid plans about manuscript turnaround times and efficiency of processes can evaporate with the vigour of the rain from the seafront in a British coastal town. There are two problems that conspire to confound:
1. A lot of academic researchers are freed from teaching commitments and other non-research activities (which my boss likes to call ‘treacle’). As a result they have time to write papers and get them submitted. For the journal editor the summer can be a time of high submission and a bloated journal inbox.
2. Academics will insist on spending the summer doing fun things like going to conferences, working in the field, bothering their students in the lab, or even (shock horror) taking some time off to be with their families. As a result there is a shortage of reviewers to consider journal submissions. The editorial inbox swells still further with ‘Out of Office’ messages.
Put these two together and the Editor has a tricky mix. At JHND we have tried to keep the ship afloat, but if we have kept you waiting longer than usual for a decision, please accept my apologies. Summer is ending, so normal service will be resumed. And if you don’t believe summer has ended- here in sunny Nottingham today it is 10 degrees C and in the office yesterday people were wearing their coats.