I've received today this email (I receive quite often such emails since I am also interested- rather actively, I'd like to think- in Applied Mathematics). I put in bold what is the most interesting thing for my purpose here (I won't search for the rank or reputation of this journal below etc. etc, since it is not crucial for the context) and which should make any Economist shout and scream and jump from the nearest window:
[...] it is a pleasure for us to invite you to publish one work in "International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics".
Let me inform you that the reviewing period for one paper is 2-3 weeks, the printing period is 4 weeks.
You may submit papers electronically. Please send the paper as an attachment to the following address [...]. You are welcome to visit our web-page: http://math.uctm.edu/journals
Below is some necessary information about the journal.
Now, for most other Maths journals, from both ends of the 'formal' (say, ISI- based)quality distribution, as far as I know, the timing is very much similar (even increased two-three times: I still wouldn't mind); there isn't really a large time lag. Moreover, most natural sciences (I know the situation in Physics best) behave similarly from this point of view. Compare this to the absolutely ridiculous periods of 4-6 months, on average (certain very good journals take much longer, my impression is that there 6 months is really a minimum!) to get a first reaction, within Economics (if, but that very rarely happens, you get accepted immediately, maybe in other 6 months you're in; in practice, revise and resubmit and reviewing that takes other 6 months, so hope that in about 2 years you can publish a good paper that you finished just now; in case of a rejection start all over again at another journal, maybe revising here and there: could take you forever- cases of 5-6 years, or more!!!, of famous 'working papers' waiting for publication, that subsequently influenced a whole subfield, are really not so uncommon in Economics). If I only had an idea about this when I decided for graduate studies in Economics (despite the fact that I was at the same time accepted for an MPhil in Theoretical Physics, for instance)! Somebody must do something about this situation and it has to start from the top. You can't expect things to change if the major journals - and I name here only what I consider the top 5 in Econ, American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Review of Economic Studies- do not start by providing the example.
See also a previous post on various proposals to improve and in particular, to speed up things in scientific publishing. None of these is good enough, of course. But it should be an editor's task to think about speeding up things. Does anybody do that? If so, the results are very hard to see. And if it is really nothing to do from the part of the editors and this is inherent in the Economists' species, I can only agree with and even extend Ariel Rubinstein's idea that Mathematicians are "more skilled, highly educated and intelligent" than Economists: they are also much smarter.