The Journal of the Canadian Economics Association
La revue de l'association canadienne d'économique

Advice to Referees

How much time should a referee spend on a paper?

The amount of time taken with a paper can vary enormously - anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days of full-time effort. A typical report should probably take 3 or 4 hours. Keep in mind that the CJE rejects about 80% of papers received. If you quickly form the opinion that the paper is not likely to "make the cut", you do not need to spend much time with it. Constructive thoughtful criticism is always helpful to authors, but if all you have time for is a short report, and you can provide it quickly, the editors would encourage you to do so. Do not delay a report just because you are having difficulty thinking of constructive suggestions.