Authors: M. Luwel 1 and H. Moed 2
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  • 1 Science and Innovation Administration Ministry of the Flemish Community Boudewijnlaan 30 1000 Brussels (Belgium) Boudewijnlaan 30 1000 Brussels (Belgium)
  • | 2 Leiden University Centre for Science and Technology Studies P.O. Box 9555 2300 RB Leiden (The Netherlands) P.O. Box 9555 2300 RB Leiden (The Netherlands)
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This article presents an exploratory analysis of publication delays in the science field. Publication delay is defined as the time period between submission and publication of an article for a scientific journal. We obtained a first indication that these delays are longer with regard to journals in the fields of mathematics and technical sciences than they are in other fields of science. We suggest the use of data on publication delays in the analysis of the effects of electronic publishing on reference/citation patterns. A preliminary analysis on a small sample suggests that—under rather strict assumptions—the cited half-life of references may be reduced with a factor of about 2 if publication delays decrease radically.