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As a referee, I like to submit my reports in a timely fashion in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the publication (and also because I hate when referees spend months and months reviewing my papers). However, I have noticed that sometimes the journal does not make a decision on the paper until several months or weeks later. I have an example when I submitted my report in July and the decision was made in November. I was wondering if it would be correct/ethical to put the date on my report in order to show the authors that my report was submitted on time, even if I am an anonymous referee, and that other referees or the editors are to blame for any delays.

1 Answer 1

Would it be "correct" or "ethical"? Probably.

Would it do anything? Probably not. There are often reasons for a review to come in late, and some of them are not just "The reviewer is a slacker". Beyond that, the editorial staff at a journal has their own discretion beyond just "What do the reviewers say?", and that can (and should) take time.

Assuming you're anonymous, I can't really see an upside as an annoyed author of a delayed paper behind knowing that "It's totally not Reviewer 2's fault".