Based on David’s link to the AMS data on journal backlogs in my last post (thanks Dave!) and the ISI Web of Knowledge citation report, I’ve wasted some time making the following fancy graph. There are some obvious missing journals that I didn’t have the data for: Theory of Computing (no impact factor), JACM (no backlog times), etc. If you have this data, I would be happy to add them.

Right now, the plot shows time from submit to accept against the impact factor (IF) with journal’s coloured by publisher and size indicating their volume by number of articles. All data is for 2008. It’s interactive! Switch to the 5-year impact factor! Fun!

So, now, I know that impact factors have little meaning in our field. I’d be happy to switch to some other more meaningful ranking. Feel free to comment your suggestions.

But what do you think: would you actually not submit to the SIAM Journal on Discrete Math based on this?

[iframe http://oj0ijfii34kccq3ioto7mdspc7r2s7o9.spreadsheets.gmodules.com/gadgets/ifr?up__table_query_url=http%3A%2F%2Fspreadsheets.google.com%2Ftq%3Frange%3DB2%253AI13%26headers%3D1%26key%3DttBltOeX1ZK-992JA1GeOiA%26gid%3D4%26pub%3D1&up_title=Journal+wait+times&up_initialstate=%7B%22duration%22%3A%7B%22timeUnit%22%3A%22Y%22%2C%22multiplier%22%3A1%7D%2C%22nonSelectedAlpha%22%3A0.4%2C%22yZoomedDataMin%22%3A6%2C%22yZoomedDataMax%22%3A17.7%2C%22iconKeySettings%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22yZoomedIn%22%3Afalse%2C%22xZoomedDataMin%22%3A0.421%2C%22xLambda%22%3A1%2C%22time%22%3A%222008%22%2C%22orderedByX%22%3Afalse%2C%22xZoomedIn%22%3Afalse%2C%22uniColorForNonSelected%22%3Afalse%2C%22sizeOption%22%3A%227%22%2C%22iconType%22%3A%22BUBBLE%22%2C%22playDuration%22%3A15000%2C%22dimensions%22%3A%7B%22iconDimensions%22%3A%5B%22dim0%22%5D%7D%2C%22xZoomedDataMax%22%3A2.336%2C%22yLambda%22%3A1%2C%22yAxisOption%22%3A%223%22%2C%22colorOption%22%3A%222%22%2C%22showTrails%22%3Atrue%2C%22xAxisOption%22%3A%225%22%2C%22orderedByY%22%3Afalse%7D&up__table_query_refresh_interval=300&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fig%2Fmodules%2Fmotionchart.xml&mid=4&nocache=1&synd=spreadsheets 550 450]

(The above works for me on Safari; I’m not sure how the gadget will work under other browsers. If you can’t see the embedded gadget, try this published spreadsheet.)

**Update: **I forgot to “give props” to Hans Rosling and GapMinder.org for popularizing these graphs. The graph was created in Google Spreadsheets using the “motion graph” gadget.

**Update: **JACM added thanks to Dave pointing me to JACM’s self-reported backlog. It is also nicely consistent with the impact factor/wait time correlation. I’d like to comment more on this in a later post: I don’t think this happens in other fields.

RobertSo it looks like the higher the impact factor the slower the turn-around?

With the exception of a few journals which have low impact factor AND slow turn-around.

RobertThis is a sweet graph by the way (reminds me of the gapminder.org people and what they do).

I would love to know what software you used to create it.

GlencoraPost authorI don’t like to draw conclusions, but it does seem that way … created using Google Spreadsheets – post updated.

Carl LummaMy intuition is that the correct scaling for IF will be log, and turnaround time lin. If we do that, we see what looks like a linear efficient frontier from Math. Prog. to Comb.

Paul BeameIt is odd to use the “acceptance to print” of 15.2 months for a journal like SICOMP which is much faster in “acceptance to electronic posting” of 4.4 months. For someone who needs the paper or for the author who needs to have the work out there in final form, the electronic post date seems to be the relevant one.

Also, the “impact factors” of these journals have varied as they have lost or gained special issues (which also affects time in process since special issue papers necessarily appear together).

GlencoraPost authorPaul: The default numbers I am showing is the “Submission to Final Acceptance” number from AMS. I assume that final acceptance means the editor has a version in hand that will not have further technical changes (perhaps just formatting changes?), but I am not sure. So, for SICOMP (according to AMS), “Submission to final acceptance” is 17.7 months, “acceptance to print” is 15.2 months and “acceptance to e-posting” is 4.4 months. I interpret this as taking 22.1 months for “submission to e-posting” and 32.9 months from “acceptance to print”.

The numbers from AMS on “acceptance to e-posting” are up there too if you want to see how much longer you should expect if acceptance is not good enough for job applications, tenure, etc. If there is enough demand, I can add these numbers together and update the figure …

GlencoraPost authorAlso – if anyone knows acceptance rates for these journals, I’d be interested in displaying that as size of ball.

DiogenesHello, I apologize for contacting you in this unorthodox fashion, but time is at a premium ( work, kids, etc ) but I think, for promotional purposes, you might be interested in submitting your site to my new tech directory…The Tech Directory at thetazzone.net

I’m assuming comments are moderated so when I click submit this post won’t automatically appear on site, if it does, I again apologize.

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NamelessDoes anybody know what’s the average turnover time for the Springer journal “Discrete & Computational Geometry”? Or any experience with this journal?