The COVID-19: Challenges for editors of biomedical journals during the public crisis

COVID-19 and challenges for journal editors



COVID-19, challenges, editor, journal, public crisis


The COVID19 pandemic has changed life, the way we work, live and interact. Scientific journal editors have experienced challenging work-life since the novel coronavirus was popularly known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020.1


A public crisis like COVID-19 requires faster dissemination of scientific findings unlike the usual publishing process, the biomedical journals have taken the challenge with extra effort to shorten the submission-to-publication time to on average by 49%, at times raising the concern for the quality of ‘pandemic-publishing’.2


The review process of biomedical journals normally requires on average 3-4 months and from submission to publication 8-9 months, which may be expedited in the time of crisis as we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic with a median of 3-13 days of publication time.3


Quarantine, restriction of movements, lockdowns, working from ‘home-office’ and sudden surge in the new submissions related to the pandemic, all posing a challenge to maintain the journal office process from submission, review to the final acceptance and publication, ‘on time’.4-6 Additional platforms, supplement issues on the COVID19 got further expanded with the various types of manuscripts added, e.g. on online education during the pandemic, psychosocial issues and lots of perspective viewpoints as people had suddenly more time for writing during the changes in lifestyle during the pandemic, all resulting in an increased number of submission to the medical journals. More and more authors included the buzzword COVID19 in the title to ride on the fast-wagon hoping and even pressurizing the editor/journal for expedited publication to disseminate the information on time. 5,6

Author Biography

Jay N Shah, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal




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