The Towers never revealed any substantial information about the waiting time for approval. For a while I've been trying to figure out whether the waiting time is going down or is it in fact going up?
When I wrote the first Take Five article, Pastey asked me to look into the time each entry had to wait before it was approved. I did so, and found out that the waiting time ranged from 13 to 19 weeks with most having a 14/15-week wait. This was back in December and so I decided to look into it again this week. The results were fairly
disappointing. Out of 26 entries, 10 had a 15-week wait and 9 had a
16-week wait. The other 7 were mostly above that. The average waiting
time was higher by a couple of weeks than in December.(I know of some researchers who have clocked up more like 26 plus weeks and who have actually deleted some articles in frustration! Ed.)
When I encountered Petas' Asthma entry, at first I could not find the 'un'-approved version. Then I found one that was 30 weeks old - from early May 1999! Shows that there's no bias in the system ;-). There were two other entries with the same age, maybe showing that the editors must be having a spring clean. (Don't worry, I ignored these when comparing the waiting time with Decembers!).
Earlier this year I stumbled across this entry. Though the numbers it provides are unclear, it can be
interpreted that it shows that the waiting list is actually increasing in size. Though not conclusive, on average the approval queue is growing by two entries per day. As I said before, this data is unclear and now also a month old. But it shows that it is unlikely
that the waiting time is decreasing.
Now for the good news. There is a whole new batch of Sub-Editors
learning the ropes at the moment, a batch of around 50!!
Hopefully, with this new batch of sub-editors, the waiting time will
start to decrease. However, realistically, don't expect your entries to be approved in less than thirteen weeks in the upcoming months. But, once the new Subs are settled in, then the waiting time should start to decrease dramatically. What would be nice, in the mean time, is if those kind folks in the Towers provide us with some numbers as the entry I mentioned does - only this time could they be clearer and could we be told what they mean!