Getting a prompt and helpful answer to a query depends on addressing it to the right person or department. Unfortunately, journal functions are often divided between different organisations and companies, so this is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Printed journals that operate within a strict page budget and get their money from annual subscriptions can publish only a certain number of papers in each issue. If the editor accepts more papers than the journal can publish, a queue will form. If speed of publication is important, try to discover the lead time of the target journal. If one simply wants to cite their publication, speed of decision may be more important. Many journals make accepted material available online before it appears in print, and it may even be indexed on Medline as an 'epub ahead of print', but there may still be some delay between acceptance and electronic publication to allow for technical editing.