January 2016 newsletter – Economic Journal – Editors’ Annual Report

The editors of the Economic Journal made their annual report covering the period July 1 2014 to June 30 2015, to the Council of the Royal Economic Society in November. This is an edited version of that report.1

1. Overview
• Regular submissions to the journal increased by 7 per cent to 1121. 
• We received a total of 1236 submissions, including conference papers and submissions to Features.
• The was a decline in the number of submissions from the UK (post REF?), an increase from the US and some European countries.
• 714 (64 per cent) of regular submissions were dealt with by editors alone (desk rejected); of these 81 per cent were returned to authors within 14 days, slower than last year but still within acceptable range. A small number of desk rejected papers took a very long time (this is unacceptable and we are working to ensure that this does not occur again).
• Around three-quarters of regular submissions that were sent to referees were returned to authors within 4 months of submission, only 4 per cent took longer than 6 months. Table shows further turnaround statistics.
• The vast majority of referees responded within 3 months, with over 50 per cent responding within 2 months. The editors are very grateful to the referees for their excellent performance
• The impact factor of the Economic Journal has fallen from 2.587 to 2.336; we are investigating why and seeking to reverse this decline.
• All accepted papers are now passed through anti-plagiarism software before publication.
• The EJ continues to use its twitter account to promote EJ content.
• The office has moved to University College London.

2 Journal and editorial performance

2.1 Editorial Team
The current editorial team consists of:

Joint Managing Editors
Martin Cripps, University College London
Andrea Galeotti, University of Essex
Rachel Griffith, University of Manchester and IFS
Morten Ravn, University College London
Kjell Salvanes, NHH
Frederic Vermeulen, University of Leuven
Joachim Voth, University of Zurich

Production Editor
David Mayes

Publishing Editor
Catherine Waite, UCL

2.2 Submissions 
Submissions have continued to increase. Regular submissions rose by 7 per cent, Features submissions by 8 per cent and Conference Volume submissions declined substantially by -18 per cent

The geographic distribution of submissions has remained reasonably steady, with the largest share coming from Europe (39 per cent), a slight decrease from last year, followed by North America (26 per cent), with a strong increase in submissions from the US. UK submissions fell slightly to 18 per cent.

2.3 Editorial Processing Time
Editorial turn-around times remain quick. Only 3 per cent of papers took longer than 5 months and only 1 per cent took longer than 6 months.

714 (64 per cent) of regular submissions were dealt with by Editors alone (screen rejected). The editors do this for papers that in their view have a low probability of getting published in order to help keep turn around times down.

The ability of Editors to keep turnaround times down is in no small part due to the quick response we get from referees. Over 51 per cent of referees responded within 2 months, a drop from last year, but still very good. Of authors invited for revision, 62 per cent received a decision within 4 months.

2.4 Rankings and Impact Factors 
The 2-year impact factor for the Economic Journal has fallen to 2.336.

2.5 Plagiarism Checking
Two years ago we introduced a new system under which we scan all accepted papers through anti-plagiarism software before publication. We use Ithenticate software, recommended by Wiley. The software has mainly flagged up issues related to authors omitting to reference their own prior work. These omissions have been rectified before publication. We will continue to operate this policy.

2.6 Social Media
The EJ launched its twitter feed in April 2013. The feed provides access to articles, media briefings and news. It was displayed at the RES Conference to encourage debate and interest in the journal and the society.

2.7 Circulation statistics and membership 
The circulation and membership statistics are shown in the accompanying tables.

3 Prizes and EJ Lecture

3.1 RES Prize
The Royal Economic Society Prize of £3,000 is given to the best non-solicited paper published in the Economic Journal. The prize is chosen by the editors and the President of the RES. In 2014 the prize was awarded to

Giacomo De Giorgi and Michele Pellizzari (2014) ‘Understanding Social Interactions: Evidence from the Classroom’, vol.124, issue 579, pages 917-953, September

3.2 Austin Robinson Prize
The Austin Robinson Memorial Prize was introduced in 2007 for the best paper published in the Economic Journal by an author who is within five years of completing their PhD. The prize, chosen by the Economic Journal editors, is given annually and includes an award of £2,000. The 2014 Austin Robinson Memorial prize was awarded to

Fabian Herweg and Daniel Müller (2014) ‘Price Discrimination in Input Markets: Quantity Discounts and Private Information’, vol.124, issue 577, pages 776-804, June

3.3 EJ Referee Prizes
The Economic Journal depends on the service of its referees for the functioning of the peer review process. The EJ Referee Prizes are presented to those referees that have contributed beyond the call of duty through their thoroughness and constructive feedback to the authors, and sometimes through the number of reports that they write. The Editors chose 12 winners for the referee prize for 2014 We thank all of these individuals for their outstanding support of the Journal, and the service they have provided to the authors. The 2014 winners are:

David Atkin, Yale University
Holger Breinlich, University of Essex
Jens Christensen, Federal Bank of San Francisco
Andrew Clark, Paris School of Economics
Daniele Condorelli, University of Essex
Francesco Devicienti, University of Torino
Gilles Duranton, University of Pennsylvania
Marcel Jansen, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Igor Livshits, University of Western Ontario
Debrah Meloso, ESC Rennes School of Business
David de Meza, London School of Economics
Chris Wallace, University of Leicester