Over 40% rise in submissions, highest impact factor ever, even faster editorial decisions. Report 2020 of theJournal of Population Economics

Report of the Editor-in-Chief 2020 PDF of Report

The Journal of Population of Economics is an international quarterly that publishes original theoretical and applied research in all areas of population economics, household economics, and human resources. This report contains information about the Journal and its editorial process in the past year and some earlier years.

Figure 1: Number of Submissions

The number of submissions has substantially increased over recent years (Figure 1). Between 2011 and 2013, the Journal received about 400 submissions per year; by 2016 the number of submissions neared 500, and in 2020, 871 manuscripts were received. This marks an annual increase of submissions of 41%. Over the decade 2010-2020, the manuscript inflow rose from 337 to a level 2.6 times higher. The additional workload was managed through an efficient desk rejection policy for initial screening.

Figure 2: Origin of Submissions

In line with past years, the largest single share of submissions made in 2020 were from corresponding authors based in Europe (Figure 2). Nearly 40% of all submissions originated from Europe, and over one-third (34%) of submissions came from authors based in Asia and the Middle East. Under one-fifth (17%) of submissions came from authors based in North America. The remaining submissions came from contributors from Africa (6%), Oceania (Australia and New Zealand; 4%), and South and Central America (4%).

Figure 3: Visits by World Region 2019

Figure 3 contains the internet visits to the Journal on the Springer website from the world regions. With over a third of visits coming from North America and 29% from Europe, followed by the Asia-pacific region (22%), the Journal is globally accessed and read.

Figure 4: Days to First Decision

Figure 4 shows that the average number of days between submission and first decision has generally declined over time. Despite a slight uptick in the turnaround time for first decisions between 2015 and 2016, which may be partially attributed to the increased volume of submissions, there was a substantial reduction in turnaround time in following years. In 2020, the average time for first decisions was 24 days. The Journal is committed to keep the time between submission and decisions low, including eventual publication. Since 2013 the Journal has executed a desk rejection policy to provide authors with an early signal for better targeting of their work. The large number of submissions combined with an annual quota of 40 manuscripts keeps the acceptance rates of the Journal  very low.

Table 1 shows three acceptance rate measures: 1) the number of manuscripts accepted in a given year as a share of all final decisions made in that year; 2) the number of published articles in a given year as a share of all submissions in that year; and; 3) the number of articles published in a given year divided by the number of the previous year’s submissions.

The number of accepted papers (submitted at any point in time) in a given year as a share of all decisions made in that year has shifted over time. The acceptance rate has declined from 7% in 2018 to 4.9% in 2019, slightly increasing in 2020 to 5.4%. If acceptance rate is measured as the number of published manuscripts as a share of total submissions received in that year, the acceptance rate was slightly higher, at 4.6% in 2020 (at 40 manuscripts from among 871 submissions), falling from 7.1% in 2018 and 6.5% in 2019. Measuring the acceptance rate as the number of publications as a share of the number of submissions received in the previous year (2019) would yield a 2020 rate of 6.5%, which is lower than the previous years (7.6% in 2018 and 7.1% in 2019).

Table 1: Acceptance Rates

Index                   Year201820192020
No. accepted /      Total No. decisions7.0%4.9%5.4%
No. articles publ. /    No. submissions7.1%6.5%4.6%
No. articles publ. /   No. subm. prev. year7.6%7.1%6.5%

Table 2 reports  the status of papers submitted in the given year for years 2018 – 2020. The Journal’s Impact Factor has increased substantially over time (Figure 5). In 2019, the 2020 published simple Impact Factor was 1.840, and the 5-year Impact Factor was 2.353. The Journal ranked 120/371 in economics and 11/29 in demography in 2019. As of July 2020, the Journal’s IDEAS/RePEc ranking was 77/2,485 (based on the Simple Impact Factor 15.682, for Journals and all years).

Table 2: Status of Papers Submitted in Particular Year

Accept 39 35 47
Revise 68 125 81
Reject 522 551 737
Figure 5: Impact Factor

The Journal is ranked in: Social Science Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences, SCOPUS, EconLit, Google Scholar, EBSCO Discovery Service, ProQuest, CAB International, ABS Academic Journal Quality Guide, Academic OneFile, Academic Search, Bibliography of Asian Studies, CAB Abstracts, CSA Environmental Sciences, Current Contents/Social & Behavioral Sciences, ECONIS, ERIH PLUS, Gale, Global Health, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), JSTOR, OCLC, Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), Review of Population Reviews, SCImago, and Summon by ProQuest.

International Research on the Economics of Population, Household, and Human Resources

Klaus F. Zimmermann,
Journal of Population Economics


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