The amusing distribution of refereeing requests

I am sure that I am not the only mathematician to have observed how the distribution of refereeing requests during the year is very far from uniform. In the last few days, I have been experiencing a peak of almost one request per day, and I could probably use this to obtain a rough guess of the editorial efficiency of various journals, since it seems more than likely (e.g., because this is what I often do as an author…) that these papers were submitted formally just before the beginning of the new semester.

It is somewhat interesting to wonder about the possible consequences of this; clearly, if someone gets ten refereeing requests in a few days instead of them being spread over three or four months, many more will be declined, and that is unlikely to lead to an improvement of the mathematics literature…

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I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

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