Timeliness of Publication is a basic criterion in the evaluation process. It is of primary importance. A journal must be publishing according to its stated frequency to be considered for initial inclusion in the Science database. The ability to publish on time implies a healthy backlog of manuscripts essential for ongoing viability.
It is not acceptable for a journal to appear chronically late, weeks or months after its cover date. To measure timeliness we need to see three consecutive current issues, one after another, as soon as they are published. Timeliness is also essential for electronic journals. If the e-journal is publishing distinct issues at a stated frequency, these issues should appear online in a timely manner.
However, when an e-journal publishes articles one at a time rather than collecting articles for release as an "issue" we take a slightly different approach to measuring timeliness. In these cases the editors look for a steady flow of articles over several months time.
to be continued...