I’ve made this point before, but I’d like to say it again: you are a fantastic community and I am very honored to be a part of it and to serve you. I am particularly talking about your willingness to agree to review papers and your timeliness with turning in those reviews.
I am specifically referring this chart, shown at our recent editorial board meeting and available online here:
I had a chart but now I am simply referring to the publicly-available data at this webpage. JGR-Space Physics is about a 1/3 of the way down the table, the last columns of which lists the median time from submission to first decision, not including those that are rejected without review (i.e., these values only include those sent out for review).
As you can see in the chart, JGR-Space Physics is third, behind Space Weather and GRL. While several factors that go into this timescale, there are two main determinants that can greatly change value, namely those that I listed above: securing referees and getting reviews back from those referees. Relative to other AGU-related communities, space physics is exceptionally fast, both at agreeing to serve as a referee and at actually doing it. Thank you for being such a good service-oriented research community!
A motivating factor for this post is another chart I saw at the editorial board meeting that showed the stats from your responses to the post-decision author surveys. In general, you like JGR-Space Physics, but one of the questions with a slightly lower median score was the one about timeliness of the review process. Apparently, there is a perception out there that JGR-Space Physics isn’t that fast. Of course, the survey could be biased; less than 20% of authors complete the survey and the results could be skewed toward those with a negative comment to send back to AGU. Yes, you usually have to wait over a month to hear back from us, and JGR-Space Physics is slow compared to the other AGU journals in which we publish (specifically, GRL and Space Weather). However, compared to other disciplines, we are pretty fast.