# How long to hear back about quick opinion

1. Top Mathematician
utkg
[...]

they should not just be blacklisted, they should be publicly shamed

at that point it's the editor's fault for waiting for them and not finding another person for quick opinion.

you overestimate the number of people competent enough to give a valuable quick opinion on a narrow specific problem at the frontier of research at the level of annals

1 weekutkg
Quote 7 Up 0 Down Report
2. Top Mathematician
lpfu
[...]

i've gotten these sort of papers into TAMS or even AJM level journals. Sure the result might be unsurprising or expected at a certain point, but there's still a need to actually do it and carry out the details. Unfair to assume a result without actually proving it. Hate it when people who talk out of their ass just dismissively say something should follow when it might not. But then again, a TAMS won't change their job outcome. Still you should feel bad.

This was above Duke, hence the outcome. At the end the paper was published in Duke, which I think was fair.

Let me get this straight -- you thought this paper was << Annals, but > Duke, and you think the 8 month wait is not so bad for these authors? If you did this for a bunch of tenured folks I would still understand, but even there I think this is ridiculous.

If you can't give a quick opinion immediately (in the scale of a week to a month), you should decline. Otherwise there's no difference between a quick opinion and a referee report which just says "this result is interesting and looks correct" or "this result looks correct but is uninteresting / not at the level of this journal".

1 weeklpfu
Quote 1 Up 2 Down Report
3. Top Mathematician
rnnq

It is ridiculous to justify negligent refereeing by saying that it’s the editor’s duty to manage the review process so that it is satisfactory. You’re not a pet dog. We’re all adults here (and maybe some of us are even scholars!) and we should be able to hold ourselves to a high standard of behavior of our own accord.

In any case, blame isn’t something to be passed around to land in a single person’s lap: it’s possible for more than one person to behave in an irresponsible way at one time. In this thread, someone: i) claims to have spent 8 months to write a quick opinion to reject; ii) is basically boasting about this in a shameless, cavalier fashion; iii) is even making nonsensical excuses for their behavior (calling the paper not that good, but then saying that “it was above duke” (?!)).

I hope with all my heart that this person is a troll. Otherwise the moral compasses of some academics are even more broken than I had feared. I’m relieved to see that at least some people above are calling out this bullshit.

1 weekrnnq
Quote 3 Up 2 Down Report
4. Top Mathematician

iii) is even making nonsensical excuses for their behavior (calling the paper not that good, but then saying that “it was above duke” (?!)).

The journal was above Duke, certainly not the paper.

Quote 1 Up 0 Down Report
5. Top Mathematician
crip

negligent refereeing...

claims to have spent 8 months to write a quick opinion to reject

This person may be a troll but the situation is entirely plausible. You have no idea of the volume of quick opinion requests a relatively small number of mathematicians get. (That's your scandal, if you're looking for one. Should c.100 mathematicians be gatekeepers for all the top journals via the quick opinion system? If you're in love with the 'prestige' of journals like Annals etc., that's how it's maintained.) Most mathematicians give priority to quick opinion requests from journals with which they have a formal affiliation, because they've signed up for that job. When a random other journal -- even Annals -- sends a request and doesn't follow up when they don't get a quick reply, that's on them.

1 weekcrip
Quote 8 Up 0 Down Report
6. Top Mathematician
conb

So when are some of the Elsevier/Springer axis[1] profits, or "open access" fees going to trickle down to referees?

He who pays the piper calls the tune, so the busker will move to a better corner if not encouraged.

[1] needs an acronym like FAANG

1 weekconb
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
7. Top Mathematician
hiep

negligent refereeing...

claims to have spent 8 months to write a quick opinion to reject

This person may be a troll but the situation is entirely plausible. You have no idea of the volume of quick opinion requests a relatively small number of mathematicians get. (That's your scandal, if you're looking for one. Should c.100 mathematicians be gatekeepers for all the top journals via the quick opinion system? If you're in love with the 'prestige' of journals like Annals etc., that's how it's maintained.) Most mathematicians give priority to quick opinion requests from journals with which they have a formal affiliation, because they've signed up for that job. When a random other journal -- even Annals -- sends a request and doesn't follow up when they don't get a quick reply, that's on them.

Every editor outside of the big 5 should read Trevor Wooley's quick opinion on quick opinions.

1 weekhiep
Quote 2 Up 0 Down Report
8. Top Mathematician
uydb

negligent refereeing...

claims to have spent 8 months to write a quick opinion to reject

This person may be a troll but the situation is entirely plausible. You have no idea of the volume of quick opinion requests a relatively small number of mathematicians get. (That's your scandal, if you're looking for one. Should c.100 mathematicians be gatekeepers for all the top journals via the quick opinion system? If you're in love with the 'prestige' of journals like Annals etc., that's how it's maintained.) Most mathematicians give priority to quick opinion requests from journals with which they have a formal affiliation, because they've signed up for that job. When a random other journal -- even Annals -- sends a request and doesn't follow up when they don't get a quick reply, that's on them.

What on earth do you mean by "formal affiliation"? You mean like, you're on the editorial board? I'm on the editorial board of a couple of journals (not remotely Annals level!), and they don't ask me for quick opinions, but to handle the paper.

I think the quick opinion system works well. You need a way to quickly reject most papers even from mid-level journals, and that leaves you with two choices other than quick opinions: always get full reports (impossible, people can only write so many referee reports), or just desk reject on the editor's whim.

1 weekuydb
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
9. Top Mathematician
qakp
[...]

This person may be a troll but the situation is entirely plausible. You have no idea of the volume of quick opinion requests a relatively small number of mathematicians get. (That's your scandal, if you're looking for one. Should c.100 mathematicians be gatekeepers for all the top journals via the quick opinion system? If you're in love with the 'prestige' of journals like Annals etc., that's how it's maintained.) Most mathematicians give priority to quick opinion requests from journals with which they have a formal affiliation, because they've signed up for that job. When a random other journal -- even Annals -- sends a request and doesn't follow up when they don't get a quick reply, that's on them.

Every editor outside of the big 5 should read Trevor Wooley's quick opinion on quick opinions.

TW's stance has probably been quite detrimental to the acceptance rate of papers on the Hardy-Littlewood method to top journals.

Seeing as most papers are basically correct, and there are nowhere near enough hours to referee all the papers out there, quick opinions are a great way to go.

I have no objection to journals instituting a policy that there should be three quick opinions, one senior, one a more junior person, at least one female, etc etc

1 weekqakp
Quote 1 Up 1 Down Report
10. Top Mathematician
qakp
[...]

This person may be a troll but the situation is entirely plausible. You have no idea of the volume of quick opinion requests a relatively small number of mathematicians get. (That's your scandal, if you're looking for one. Should c.100 mathematicians be gatekeepers for all the top journals via the quick opinion system? If you're in love with the 'prestige' of journals like Annals etc., that's how it's maintained.) Most mathematicians give priority to quick opinion requests from journals with which they have a formal affiliation, because they've signed up for that job. When a random other journal -- even Annals -- sends a request and doesn't follow up when they don't get a quick reply, that's on them.

Every editor outside of the big 5 should read Trevor Wooley's quick opinion on quick opinions.

Isn't there just the tiniest hint of humblebrag about Wooley's opinion?

1 weekqakp
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
11. Top Mathematician
crip

What on earth do you mean by "formal affiliation"? You mean like, you're on the editorial board?

Yes

I'm on the editorial board of a couple of journals (not remotely Annals level!), and they don't ask me for quick opinions, but to handle the paper.

Not the case for all journals

1 weekcrip
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
12. Top Mathematician
nqwz

I once gave a quick opinion to reject 8 months after I was asked, and the paper was already a couple of months with the editor. Reason: I forgot and no one reminded me.

Frankly 8 months is OK. Most of my papers take 18-24 months to get a first report. It's true that if you really hate somebody wait 12 months to send back your negative quick opinion...

1 weeknqwz
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
13. Top Mathematician
ufoa

What on earth do you mean by "formal affiliation"? You mean like, you're on the editorial board?

Yes

I'm on the editorial board of a couple of journals (not remotely Annals level!), and they don't ask me for quick opinions, but to handle the paper.

Not the case for all journals

Seems pretty weird for me to be qualified to opine on the paper, but not be the person on the editorial board who should be handling it.

1 weekufoa
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
14. Top Mathematician
crip

It's not about qualifications. I am on an editorial board that expects me to handle papers. I am also on other editorial boards that don't expect me to handle papers because I would have declined to join the boards in that case. My goal in life is to be a mathematician, not a journal editor. I only do it out of duty.

1 weekcrip
Quote 2 Up 0 Down Report
15. Top Mathematician
ufoa

It's not about qualifications. I am on an editorial board that expects me to handle papers. I am also on other editorial boards that don't expect me to handle papers because I would have declined to join the boards in that case. My goal in life is to be a mathematician, not a journal editor. I only do it out of duty.

Why would I want to be on an editorial board where I wasn't handling papers and making editorial decisions? If you're not interested in doing that, it seems kind of pointless. Maybe I would think differently if I were into weird status games or something.

1 weekufoa
Quote 1 Up 0 Down Report
16. Top Mathematician
crip

Ha! A very palpable hit

1 weekcrip
Quote 2 Up 0 Down Report
17. Top Mathematician
rugu

I don't understand how these things work, I've heard that the editor usually gives people 3-6 months to review, so how does it end up taking 18 months or more to get the first report…?

I once gave a quick opinion to reject 8 months after I was asked, and the paper was already a couple of months with the editor. Reason: I forgot and no one reminded me.

Frankly 8 months is OK. Most of my papers take 18-24 months to get a first report. It's true that if you really hate somebody wait 12 months to send back your negative quick opinion...

1 weekrugu
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
18. Top Mathematician
rltq

I don't understand how these things work, I've heard that the editor usually gives people 3-6 months to review, so how does it end up taking 18 months or more to get the first report…?

[...]

Frankly 8 months is OK. Most of my papers take 18-24 months to get a first report. It's true that if you really hate somebody wait 12 months to send back your negative quick opinion...

I also don't know but I guess 3-6 months to get quick opinions and 12-18 months to get the actual report. My field is technical tho and papers can be either long and understandable or short and dense.

1 weekrltq
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
19. Top Mathematician
twyh
[...]

Every editor outside of the big 5 should read Trevor Wooley's quick opinion on quick opinions.

TW's stance has probably been quite detrimental to the acceptance rate of papers on the Hardy-Littlewood method to top journals.

Seeing as most papers are basically correct, and there are nowhere near enough hours to referee all the papers out there, quick opinions are a great way to go.

I have no objection to journals instituting a policy that there should be three quick opinions, one senior, one a more junior person, at least one female, etc etc

What on earth? You'd rather institute rules that a woman should always be asked for a quick opinion rather than going back to the world where the handling editor has to take some responsibility and desk reject papers?

Desk rejections are better for everyone except the editor. If a paper I submitted is going to get rejected, I would rather it get rejected at that stage. This gives you enough time to pivot and try again at a comparable journal. If it takes a year to get rejected because the editor wasn't willing to reject without 3 of his friends telling me to, I'll just take the hit and try again several rungs lower.

1 weektwyh
Quote 2 Up 0 Down Report
20. Top Mathematician
twyh

Also, you make it sound as if quick opinions are an alternative to refereeing. I was under the impression that there's still at least one typical referee round even after several quick opinions in most well ranked journals.

1 weektwyh
Quote 0 Up 0 Down Report
Your screen is so tiny that we decided to disable the captcha and posting feature
Store settings & IDs (locally, encrypted)
Formatting guidelines: Commonmark with no images and html allowed. $and$\$ for LaTeX. Input previewed in last post of thread. For a link to be allowed it must include the http(s) tag and come from the list of allowed domains.