I had been quite busy for two months with various teaching and research projects. Today I logged on to SciPost and, to my surprise, saw that there was a response from authors of a manuscript for which I serve as editor-in-charge waiting for me for nearly 4 weeks. Checking my email I found an initial alert to this response and two reminders, about a week apart, and then nothing. As it happened, my mailbox was rolling off quickly and I missed these alerts in the flurry of other email. The reminders all came in at around midnight in my time zone and were quickly pushed off by early morning activity in my mailbox. Of course, I understand it is my personal responsibility to respond and keep my email unclogged etc., but I’d be surprise if I’m the only one with exploding mailbox.
So, I’d like to suggest two small changes:
- Send more frequent reminders when there is a time-sensitive task; my suggestion: first reminder after 5 days, then 4, 3, 2, 1 and repeat for a week after that (3 weeks in total).
- Send these reminders at random times to avoid traffic traps.
Perhaps something more drastic needs to happen if the editor remains unresponsive after three weeks, but that is perhaps something to talk about separately.