What steps does a manuscript typically go through from submission to publication (or rejection) in a typical journal? How are these steps referred to, in particular by editorial systems, and how long do they each typically take?

Note that this question is about the typical situation and hence not about:

  • Journals with an atypical workflow, e.g. those that allow for an instantaneous reviewer–author interaction.
  • Exceptional steps or rare occurrences such as withdrawal or clerical errors.

This is a canonical question on this topic as per this Meta post. Due to its nature, it is rather broad and not exemplary for a regular question on this site. Please feel free to improve this question.

I can’t seem to find a answer regarding this point, I would like to know what the usual timeline from the point of application (for tenure track faculty position) submission to contact for interviews looks like. I have applied to numerous positions, some in February of this year. More than half have neither rejected or contacted me and May is just around the corner. What can I expect?

Currently I am reading a textbook (in financial mathematics), and the bibliography is just huge. Pages upon pages of books and articles and whatnot. I’m talking hundreds of sources.

Did the author really read all of those things during the course of writing the book? Is that normal?

Or is it just something they think will be useful for students, i.e. a source they may know as popular in the field but haven’t read themselves? For example, somebody in mathematics might now of books by Rudin and what topics they contain, without ever actually have read themselves, so they could use that as a source without having read it, i.e like this:

for further information about functional analysis, see (Rudin, 2003) [1].

I am concerned to the fact that how a professor whom I am asking to write an LOR, will change the name of the person every time before sending? I am applying to like 100 different persons for the position of postdoc. Does it really matter that it should be addressed appropriately (name basis)?

I am working in the interdisciplinary field of materials chemistry, nanotechnology, environmental remediation, physical and theoretical chemistry.

I’m interested in the academic history of creating a bibliographic reference list. The time period is early 1990s. I want to understand how former researchers have done their writing.


25 years ago in the year 1993 scientific publishing was not done with Internet but somehow else. From the history lesson it is known, that the first electronic OPAC systems were invented and they were used in many university libraries. The OPAC catalog didn’t contain the fulltext article but only the bibliographic references, for example author, title and year. The technology behind the early OPAC system was perhaps a desktop IBM PC, but I’m not sure. It is also possible that no electronic OPAC was available but only the good old card based catalog. In any case, the cards were not handwritten but with a typewriter, so the user of the library were able to find the correct book in a short amount of time.


After the short introduction for explaining the general environment in the early 1990s there are some open question which I wasn’t able to answer alone with literature research. So perhaps somebody has a personal experience and knows the details. The problem is, how the researcher can write his manuscript with a mix of a card based catalog and an early digital OPAC. The problem with the OPAC in that time was, that no copy & paste was possible. Suppose, I’ve found an interesting title on the screen, whats next? Should I write down the bibliographic reference direct in the manuscript or can I send the information to somebody else? A similar problem is given with the card catalog. Suppose, the researcher found an interesting looking entry. Probably it was not allowed to take the card out of the catalog and insert it in the own bibliographic references, so how has the researcher in that area solved the problem?

The next question is the sorting of the bibliographic references. Suppose, somebody has written down all the entries and want to insert a new entry alphabetically. What is the best practice method for doing so?

Judging by a lot of the questions on this site, a career in Academia sounds very grim. Lots of pressure, extreme working ours, few benefits, mediocre salary, and, because one has to work with so many different people (supervisors, students, collaborators, HR, editors, etc., etc), one is more likely to run into social issues, as evidenced by the questions on this site.

So why then do so many people go into Academia? Is it really just a reason not to grow up?

“Passion for the field” doesn’t sound very convincing either, when one considers that only a small, small minority of Academia actually produce worthwhile, interesting results. The rest are just scrambling for any sort of recognition by constantly publishing mediocre results that will be cited twice over the course of the next 10 years. Rinse and repeat. Really, a lot of these people are just glorified teachers whose main contribution is giving lectures or conferences. When one considers the rising academic dishonesty, fabrication, plagiarism, and so on, the picture becomes even worse.

I am a PhD student works in computational theory. I have been doing coursework for nearly three years and right now I am starting to reading research papers. I am making progress very slowly, taking about two to three months to read a paper: even after reading it, I have questions. I have to actually verify every and each sentence of the paper which requires mathematical knowledge, and I have done enough mathematics coursework. I am getting feedback that I am reading too slowly. I have tried to work hard as much as possible, but it is not giving much results. Although there were many times in the past in which I am able to complete the incomplete proofs given in research paper. Struggle basically means completing the incomplete claims or theorems of the research paper.

Question : Is it okay to struggle with the content of research paper you are reading? and Is it going to improve with time? How to be efficient in this situation?

What seems to me little troubling here is I am in a surveying phase (reading research papers), then I will move to publication phase. So first I have read the paper then only I can work on them. I don’t How much time other PhD students take to read a research paper. If I am taking 2-3 months for just one paper, is it okay?

My prof for my first year anthropology class is new, and I’m having trouble understanding her marking scheme.

Here is the distribution of our class grades:

  • Exam 1: Median 62%, Top 75% got above 47%, while 25% got above 69%

  • Exam 2: Median 58%, Top 75% got above 44%, while 25% got above 70%.

We haven’t gotten our final exam marks back yet, but I was wondering if this is normal for a first year anthropology course?