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Snail's pace: Nature readers on their longest wait to get published

Online poll suggests 10% have had a paper held for at least 3 years.

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TREND WATCH: A poll answered by more than 3,600 Nature readers suggests that some 10% have waited at least 3 years for one or more of their papers to be published in a journal. But more than one-third have never waited longer than a year. The online poll accompanied a feature article on scientists' frustrations with the time it takes to publish papers.

Nature also asked readers what they thought was the best way to speed up publication of scientific papers. Of nearly 3,000 responses, more than 40% suggested that peer reviewers should stop asking for unnecessary revisions in manuscripts, and another 22% asked journal editors to make quicker and clearer decisions.

Only 15% suggested that authors should publish preprints and make their work available online before formal peer review. A meeting about how to encourage biologists to do just that, ASAPbio, is being held this week at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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