Skip to main content
Log in

Publication delays in the science field and their relationship to the ageing of scientific literature

  • Published:
Scientometrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Glänzel, W., U. Schoepflin (1994), A stochastic model for the ageing of scientific literature,Scientometrics, 30: 49–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glänzel, W., U. Schoepflin (1995), A bibliometric study on ageing and reception processes of scientific literature,Journal of Information Science, 21: 37–54.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van den Berghe, H., R. E. De Bruin, J. A. Houben, A. Kint, M. Luwel, E. Spruyt, H. F. Moed (1998), Bibliometric indicators of university research performance in Flanders,Journal of the American Society for Information Science, to be published.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Luwel, M., Moed, H.F. Publication delays in the science field and their relationship to the ageing of scientific literature. Scientometrics 41, 29–40 (1998).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: