On 15 October, I posted an entry on the status of my paper that presented a table showing the reported status of my probability paper, along with the date-stamp associated with that status. I declared
I'm not going to post a separate entry for each change, but will just up-date the table above until the status becomesReviews Completed.
Those who checked that entry know that, on the next day, the status of the paper changed from
Reviewers Assigned to
Under review, but that it then languished for more than twleve weeks. In the meantime, I added notes to the entry about the passage of time, about my communication with the editorial office and then with the handling editor, and about a new reviewer having been selected and accepted the assignment on 10 January.
On 14 January, the reported status of the paper became
Typically, most of the time between when a reviewer accepts an assignment and when he or she completes it is spent on concerns without meaningful relationship to the review (except in-so-far as they displace it). If reviewers had to turn immediately to the task of reviewing a paper, then far fewer would accept the responsibility. Setting aside all but truly everyday activities, it is quite possible to review a paper in a matter of a very few days, and certainly in less than five.
None-the-less, a review as speedy as must have been the last review has me especially concerned that the job may suffer from some of the deficiencies associated with a rushed review, or that the reviewer may otherwise not have recognized with significance of what were said in my paper.
In a private communication, a friend writes:
I have, several times, been asked by an editor to read a paper over, without being a formal reviewer, and send her my thoughts. Sometimes, I am then made a formal reviewer (whether I have sent my thoughts or not) when one of the other reviews withdraws or is unable or unwilling to complete a review.
I had not considered a possibility of this sort.