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About Duotrope's Statistics on Publishing Projects and Agents

A grouping of colorful umbrellas suspended in the air. (Photo by Alejando Garrido Navarro.)

About our Statistics

Duotrope takes great pride in the statistics we show on our publisher and agent listings. We've spent countless hours refining how we collate and present that data to you, so that it provides useful, meaningful information at a glance without bogging you down in too much detail. (Because we want to help you navigate the submission process as quickly as possible, so you can get right back to creating.)

Charts

Here is an example of what our submission statistics charts look like and how to read them:

The Pie chart shows the types or response by percentage. In this example: 90% of the submissions were Rejected, 5% Accepted, 3% Withdrawn by the author, 1% Lost, and 1% Never Responded.

The Range chart shows the Minimum, Maximum, and (mean) Average of each type of response. The average is marked by a white diamond (which can also hint at the distribution). In this example:

  • Pending submissions range from 0 to 90 days, with an average wait time of 15 days.
  • Submitters have Withdrawn their submissions at between 0 to 45 days, with an average of 20 days.
  • Rejections have been received from 5 to 90 days, with an average of 60 days.
  • Acceptances have been sent from 75 and 115 days, with an average of 80 days.
  • A submission was reported "Lost" at 175 days, and another submission was reported "Never Responded" at 180 days.*

Conclusions you can draw from that example: The editors typically respond quickly with rejections and hold on longer before sending acceptances (possibly due to additional review).

* Always take the times for "Lost" and "Never Responded" submissions with a large grain of salt, since the submitter decides when to give up. Also, an editor's timely response may become lost forever in someone's spam folder, so it only shows that a response wasn't received, not necessarily that a response wasn't sent.

On the Accuracy of Self-Reporting

All the data is taken from reports from our subscribers through our Submission Tracker/Submission Reporter or through submissions sent through Duosuma, our submission manager (if the submitter is a subscriber or opted in to share the data with Duotrope). The data is never provided by or altered by Duotrope or by the editors/agents. It is 100% user reported.

Although we encourage all people who report their submission responses to be as honest and complete as possible, as with all statistics gathered from human reporting, there is a significant margin of error. We do everything possible to make sure that, when the statistics are compiled, they present as accurate a picture as possible. The two ways we do this are through Grouping and Outliers.

To Group or Not to Group?

Grouping by Submission was added on 23 May 2023. Before that, the statistics counted each piece individually.

By default, the statistics are Grouped by submission. This means that if someone submitted five poems at one time to a publisher, that is counted as one submission, instead of counting each piece submitted individually. We find that the data is cleaner and the statistics more accurate when grouped this way.

It's not unusual for different pieces in a single submission to have different outcomes. For example, an author may have withdrawn two pieces in a submission before receiving a response on the remaining three, or an author may have had one poem accepted and the other four declined. In these cases, to determine the status of the submission as a whole, we use the following hierarchy:

  • If any piece was accepted, the submission as whole is considered an Acceptance.
  • If any piece was rejected (and there are no pieces accepted), the submission is considered a Rejection.
  • If any piece is still pending a response (with no piece accepted or rejected), the submission is considered Pending (and is counted in the Pending submissions section and not in the completed submissions section).
  • If any piece was reported as lost or returned (and no piece is accepted, rejected, or pending), the submission is considered Lost/Returned.
  • If any piece was reported "never responded" (and no piece is accepted, rejected, lost, or pending), the submission is considered Never Responded.
  • If all pieces were withdrawn by the submitter, the submission is considered Withdrawn.

Don't want to group? If you simply uncheck the "Group by submission" box and click the "Display" button, it will show you the statistics calculated with each piece submitted counted individually.

About Outliers

Duotrope uses a sophisticated algorithm developed over the course of years to determine which data points are statistical outliers. By default, that data is excluded in the statistics to give a clearer picture, but you can choose to include it by checking the "Include outliers" box. (If that option isn't provided, that means that there aren't any outliers for that listing.) Learn more about how we identify outliers.


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