Reformatting journal submissions costs more than $1 billion in researchers’ time
Since it’s Halloween, here’s a scary thought: The effort that researchers spend reformatting articles to submit to different journals adds up to more than $1 billion when accounting for teams’ time. A new paper surveyed the authors of nearly 300 research articles published across 96 journals. Even though most scientists submit manuscripts to more than one journal, only 4% of these journals said the first submission was free of any formatting requirements. For most of the publications, authors spent between one and three days on reformatting alone, which resulted in more than a two-week delay in submissions — for about 20% of these publications, this pushed things back by more than three months. Using first-year postdoc salaries as a benchmark, these tasks cost around $1.1 billion in researchers’ time — in the U.S. alone, that amount is an estimated $200 million annually.