December and January are difficult times for journal editors. The peer review of papers is dependent upon a key resource. Peer reviewers. These are hard to find during these months as before Christmas holidays they are not receptive to invitations to review requiring action within 28 days and after the holidays they are so bogged down with other things (resumption of teaching, catching up with the email backlog, etc) that they tend to ignore requests to review. Add to that the fact that manuscript submissions seem to peak in January (we had 19 last week- normally expect 6 in a week), presumably because people delay submitting before the holidays, or come back with a New Years resolution to get that paper submitted. Anyway, we’re struggling a little at the moment.
We apologise if you are one of the authors currently experiencing a delay.