SOWK 4483 Social Work Research Methods

Peer review Journal Timeline

General Timeline

Peer reviewed journals generally move at a snail's pace. Some are faster than others, but you can definitely expect this process to take months. Each journal is different and it is fair to ask your editor about their specific timeline. However, there is a pattern that is fairly common to most journals.


  • Stage 1: Within a few weeks of sending in your article, you will (in most cases) receive a letter stating that your piece is under review.


  • Stage 2: The review process can take a very long time, but in most cases you'll hear back from the journal within 2 to 3 months.


  • Stage 3: If your work is accepted with revisions, most journals will give you roughly 1 month to make the necessary changes.


  • Stage 4: Once the editor has confirmed that the piece is officially accepted and ready for publication, a number of things can happen. It might be sent out to the publisher to be incorporated in an upcoming issue right away, or it may be held in a backlog for a later issue. The time between official acceptance (contract signing) and receiving your hard copy of the journal in hand can take a minimum of 6 months.


The Bottom Line

The average timetable from submission to acceptance (and revisions) to publication is usually a year and a half.

Working with Journal Articles

Not all articles are available in online and full text for free. While getting your hands on full text articles may seem difficult, it is actually easy if you follow certain steps. The link below will provide you with a flowchart on how to access full text articles.

The most important piece of information you need to have in order to find full text articles is the citation. The citation consists of:

-Name of the journal

-Author of the article

-Name of the article

-Year the article was published

-Volume and (if listed) issue number

-Page number

-ISSN number (helpful but not necessary)

Once you have this information, you can search other databases and websites to find the article. If we do not have the article in any of our collections, you can provide the library with your citation and request the article from Get It 4 Me.

Major Parts of a Research Article