I have an article in the February issue of Editorial Office News, the newsletter of the ISMTE, titled "Developing Communications: Customising and Automating Submission System Templates"
Members can read it here for free, for non-members, costs $30:
"One of the most frequently raised issues with peer review is the long delay many authors experience with the process. The four main roles contributing to the reviewing process are the administrator, the editor handling the manuscript, the referees,and of course, the authors.
Fast turnaround times,from submission to decision, to resubmission to acceptance, depend on effective communication between these roles.
In the event that a speedy response is not possible, a way to alleviate the frustration of authors waiting for a decision is to update them on the status of their manuscript"