Q: Is Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC) presently not reviewing papers particularly fast?
I submitted a paper to BBRC on January 10, 2021. After 12 days in the With Editor status, it still hasn’t gone for review. What could be the matter? Isn’t BBRC reviewing papers particularly fast?
Yes, that does seem quite slow for BBRC, which is a rapid publication journal. It’s also a transformative journal (as it says on their site), that is, a journal making a transformation from being paywalled to being open access (OA). Also, it seems to be a journal following the Continuous Article Publication (CAP) model, as issues up to March seem to be in progress.
Anyway, coming to your query, the delay could be due to the holiday season that got over. Yes, it got over some time back, but given the timeline of your submission, editors/reviewers would have resumed work around then and been working intensely since then to get up to speed. Also, as it’s a rapid publication journal and from Elsevier, it would be a receiving a high number of submissions, which takes time to process. Finally, it may also depend on the nature of your research.
That said, you may write to them seeking an update on your submission. Given the timelines they promise, that would be fair to do. If you need help with writing to them, you may refer to the many templates provided in this handbook: A practical handbook of templates for communicating with the journal [Note: It’s available from R Upskill, a sister brand providing learning programs for a variety of researcher needs, from writing to submission to publication and even to promotion. You may visit the site to know more.]
All the best for writing to them. Hopefully, you’ll hear from them soon!