Time to acceptance from submission and time to publication (publication lag) determines how quickly novel information is made available to other scientists and experts. In the medical field, the review process and revisions usually takes 3–4 months; the total time from submission to publication is 8–9 months. During the COVID-19 pandemic, information should be available much faster. The analysis of 833 documents published on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 prior to 19 March 2020 shows that these times shrunk by a factor of ten. The median time to acceptance was three days for all publications, six days for research papers and reviews, four days for case studies and two days for other publication types. The median publication lag was nine days for all publications together, 11 days for research papers, nine days for case studies, 13 days for reviews and seven days for other publications. This demonstrates that the publication process—if necessary—can be sped up. For the sake of scientific accuracy, review times should not be pushed down, but the time from acceptance to actual publication could be shorter.
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