Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Sequential order as an extraneous factor in editorial decision

Orazbayev, Sultan (2017): Sequential order as an extraneous factor in editorial decision.


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Academic journal editors reject a significant portion of first submissions without sending them out for peer review. This decision, desk rejection, is made to reduce the workload on associate editors and referees, to give the submitting author a head start on revision or pursuit of an alternative venue, as well as to achieve quicker turnaround time for the journal. Desk rejection is a judgement based on the manuscript's perceived quality, impact and fit with the journal's scope. Could extraneous factors, which are unrelated to the content of a manuscript, affect the editorial decision? This paper examines whether the sequential order in which manuscripts are submitted to a large academic journal affects the editorial decision. Becoming the first submission on the editor's list of manuscripts to review increases the probability of a desk rejection by up to 7% without any effect on the likelihood of a rejection after peer review.

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