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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-170

An audit of the editorial process at the Indian Journal of Cancer: Lessons learned, and how to improve chances of acceptance of your paper

1 Editorial Assistant, Indian Journal of Cancer
2 Ex-executive Editor, Indian Journal of Cancer

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay A Pai
Ex-executive Editor, Indian Journal of Cancer

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_1319_20

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Background: The editors of the Indian Journal of Cancer (IJC) have not, so far, objectively analyzed the editorial processes involving author, referee, and editor data of the journal. Hence, we aimed at doing so in this audit. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed manuscripts submitted to the IJC from April 1, 2020, to May 31, 2020, for data related to the peer-review process. Microsoft Excel was used to enter the retrieved information and to carry out the statistical analysis. Results: Three hundred and nineteen manuscripts were submitted during the study period. Of these, three were excluded from the study. Of the 316, 79 (25%) were articles on laboratory medicine; 182 (57.6%) were original articles. About half of the submitted manuscripts (166, 52.5%) were desk-rejected. Of the remaining 149 manuscripts, 105 did not follow the instructions to contributors (ITC) and required a median number of two revisions (range = 1–5) to satisfy the ITC. To review 107 manuscripts, 536 external referees were invited; of them 306 did not respond, 79 declined the invitation, and 151 accepted the invitation. Of these 151, 132 reverted with comments. Of the 200 Indians who were invited as referees, 118 (59%) accepted the invitation, whereas of the 336 non-Indian referees, only 33 (9.8%) did. Of the 107 Indian and 25 non-Indian referees who sent their comments, 86 (80.4%) and 19 (88%), respectively, offered useful comments. The median number of days to decision: for desk-rejection was 1 day (range = 0 – 42) days, for rejection after peer-review was 67 (range = 4 – 309) days, and for acceptance was 133.5 (range = 42 – 305) days. Decision has not yet been taken for 14 manuscripts. Conclusion: The study provides evidence that it is difficult to get referees. Also, a significant number of authors do not read or follow the ITC. We suggest that the time taken for a decision can be appreciably improved if these issues are addressed.


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