Evaluation of publication delays in the orthopedic surgery manuscript review process from 2010 to 2015

Daniel A. Charen, Nolan A. Maher, Nicole Zubizarreta, Jashvant Poeran, Calin S. Moucha, Shai Shemesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A continued growth in the volume of scientific literature may strain the practice of peer review possibly leading to delays in publication. While this appears true anecdotally, exact statistics are lacking. The study goal was to quantify delays in publication in the field of orthopaedic surgery. Eight orthopedic surgery journals with available publication dates between January 2010 and December 2015 were included. Main outcomes were (1) acceptance delay (time from submission to acceptance) and (2) publication delay (time from acceptance to publication). Temporal trends for both outcomes were assessed graphically while simple linear regression was applied to assess statistical significance. 12,811 manuscripts were included that released both acceptance and publication delays. From 2010 to 2015, the median overall acceptance delay decreased from 168 (interquartile range [IQR] 115–225) to 113 (IQR 62–176) days. Similarly, there was a decrease in publication delay from 55 (IQR 26–83) days in 2010 to 16 (IQR 9–54) days in 2015; both trends p < 0.0001. Per unit increase in impact factor, there was a 19.1% (95% CI 16.1, 22.2%) increase in acceptance delay and a 15.8% (95% CI 13.5, 17.9%) decrease in publication delay. In contrast to the hypothesis, there was a decrease in delays of the peer review process in the orthopaedic surgery literature. These data are encouraging in light of the timely availability of evidence to a wide audience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1135
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Acceptance
  • Manuscript
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Publication
  • Publication delay
  • Submission


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