2018.07.02 Editor: K.B.

Rejection of a paper

After submission, manuscripts undergo a preliminary review by an editor for the journal. They will test for plagiarism; determine whether the paper fits the scope of the journal, its’ originality, quality and whether author instructions were followed. Depending on the comments, rejection at this stage may require the paper to be reformatted, data improved, the manuscript rewritten or edited, and resubmitted, or sent to another journal. If the document passes this first evaluation, the handling editor will send it out for peer review by at least two specialists in the field of research.
Rejection after peer review usually depends on a variety of factors, including inadequate data quality, analysis, and interpretation, or the title of the paper is not supported by the presented data. Editors often reject papers when too many additional experiments are required to improve the manuscript.

How to deal with rejection? Firstly, remember that rejection is not personal. Secondly, if you are upset, go away and vent by doing something you like. Thirdly, reread the letter with a clear mind and discuss the decision and comments with your co-authors. Be positive. If you firmly believe the decision is wrong or unfair, you could write to the editor and explain why your paper should be sent out again for peer review. However, think it through carefully because only one chance to appeal will be given. Also, journals rarely reconsider the decision of rejection. Reformatting the manuscript and sending it to another journal is usually a better alternative.
After assessing reviewer comments, you may decide that the paper indeed requires a major revamp. Carefully address all the comments point by point however irrelevant some of them may seem because one of the reviewers may receive it again. The manuscript can, depending on the type of rejection (e.g., ‘may be suitable for publication after major revision’), be resubmitted to the same journal. Otherwise, it must be sent to a different journal. Papers are frequently rejected several times. Do not give up if you believe your work will contribute significantly to your field of research.




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