Basic Questions about Article Rejection

Preparing and submitting scholarly papers requires a significant investment of time and mental energy. When you work hard on a paper, it can be disheartening to learn that it has been rejected. However, it is crucial to note that more papers are rejected than approved.

What are the most common reasons a journal can reject your paper for peer review?

  • The topic of the article is not within the scope of the publication.
  • The article type does not correspond to what the journal typically publishes.
  • The article does not adhere to fundamental journal criteria.
  • The writing does not meet fundamental requirements.
  • Issues with references
  • Author information is missing.
  • Self-plagiarism and plagiarism

What to do if my proposal is rejected?

Take care of yourself.

Rejection is depressing and can be painful. Recognize your feelings. Remember that just your paper has been rejected, not you personally. Try listing your qualities and things you are grateful for or assessing your modest accomplishments to improve your mood and self-esteem.

Consider your objectives.

Avoid getting caught up in the details and instead concentrate on the big picture. Frequently wait a day or two to read comprehensive reviewer remarks, especially when dealing with painful rejections: it can be harmful to immerse yourself in such comments when you are not ready. Peer review is an excellent method, but it is also intrinsically subjective, which means that rejection may be poor luck.

Tell us about your experience.

It’s natural to feel alienated and disconnected following a rejection. Sharing your rejection stories with co-workers or peers will help you get through it, but it will also assist others in dealing with their own.

 What does ‘Reject & Resubmit’ mean?

A choice to ‘Reject and resubmit’ is quite similar to ‘Revise and resubmit.’ The editor believes your study has some merit, but it is not publishable in its current form. Typically, it would necessitate considerable reworking, which would include, in most situations, adding additional trials or redoing the data analysis.

 Can I appeal the decision of the article reviewers to the journal editor?

Suppose you are convinced that you can correct the flaws identified by the editor or reviewers in the article. In that case, you may file an appeal and request rejection with the option for resubmission.

Is it possible for a journal to reject work without explaining?

The article’s content does not fall within the scope of the journal.

  • Noncompliance with the journal’s style, format, or criteria
  • Too many writing errors, such as English language errors.
  • The findings are neither innovative nor significant enough to warrant a significant advancement in the discipline.
  • The article is either too specialized/in-depth or too shallow.


Can a journal’s chief edit or publish an article notwithstanding reviewers’ recommendations to reject it?

While the editor-in-chief (EIC) has the authority to accept an article even if reviewers recommend that it be rejected, this is not a regular occurrence. Sometimes an editor will decide that one reviewer’s comments are problematic, possibly because they are overly stringent on the review. However, because most papers have many reviewers, it would be unusual for these difficulties to develop across reviewers.


The effort you put into your paper submission is not in vain; consider it a step in the academic publishing process. Use any criticism received for the next edition of the paper. Don’t interpret the rejection as a sign that the research in your study isn’t worthwhile. The questions and answers that follow can assist you in deciding what steps to take next with your work.

6 Ways to Increase Manuscript Acceptance

The standard of your scientific activity is the publication of your study. Making your papers understandable and informative so that your peers can read and profit from them is the key to getting them accepted. Although scientific quality is paramount, clear and concise writing can often mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.


What are the Effective Ways to Increase the chance of acceptance of the manuscript?


Journal Selection

The journal you choose has a significant impact on how quickly you’ll be published. Check the spectrum of relevant publications while your study is being prepared for publication or even before. High Impact Journals can help you increase the number of times your research is published.


Follow the author guidelines. 

Make sure your manuscript is formatted correctly for the journal you’re submitting it to. Similarly, if you submit a manuscript to a new journal after it has been rejected by one, make sure to change your cover letter to reflect the new journal. When a journal editor sees one of their competitors’ names on the cover letter, it immediately turns them off, and it makes you appear sloppy and careless with details, which is not a good thing.


Write transparently.

Unfortunately, imprecise wording can hinder the publication of a well-designed study with significant consequences. Editors and reviewers, in particular, may struggle to comprehend the content and may have a negative prejudice against poorly written papers, making rejection more likely. For non-native English speakers, this is a challenging obstacle to overcome.


Check Plagiarism

Most submitted manuscripts are checked for plagiarism to guarantee that no already published content is published. Remember that you cannot just cut and paste words or chunks from previous papers, even if you repeat methods or other material from your previous works, because this is considered a kind of plagiarism known as self-plagiarism. Ensure that any borrowed information, including your own, is accompanied by a reference or reworded.


Write Clear Cover Letter

While a weak cover letter will not necessarily reduce your chances of being published, a strong cover letter will. Write a thoughtful cover letter that helps the editor rapidly grasp the impact of your research and how it will revolutionize thinking in your industry, rather than an introductory, generic cover letter that satisfies the bare-bones standards. Improve your chances of the editor being interested in your book by producing a clear, concise, and appealing cover letter.


Keep track of the journal.

If you submitted your article to a journal but have yet to hear back, you should contact the editor to inquire about the status of your submission. Because the time it takes for a journal to make a decision varies by field and journal, you may wish to check with colleagues or go to the journal’s website to see if you’ve been waiting longer than typical.








The pinnacle of your scientific activity is the publication of your study. Making your papers understandable and informative so that your peers can read and profit from them is the key to getting them accepted.

Importance of staying up-to-date in Research topics

It’s vital to stay current in your field of Research to ensure that your study fits into the larger context of scientific knowledge and prevent duplicating work that’s already been done. Then, because you’re expected to follow those standards, staying on top of ever-changing legal and compliance duties is a business need.


Why is it critical to keep up with the most recent Research?

There are several reasons why it’s critical to stay current with your field of study changes.

Identifying fresh Research opportunities

Understanding the present state of knowledge on a topic, recognizing gaps, and focusing on a meaningful and responsive issue. A thorough literature search can help you find a research topic that is precise enough to be examined in the context of a specific test.

Also, to ensure that you don’t leave any important studies out of your literature review, staying current will assist you in defining your long-term research goals and career trajectory, not just the next topic to concentrate on.

The findings of the Research have an expiration date.

Time is a critical factor in the systematic review process and an important covariate in assessing study heterogeneity and a fundamental determinant of systematic review clinical relevance. Indeed, systematic reviews’ usefulness as a foundation for evidence-based practice depends on proper time considerations.

New Research-based on Previous works

Previous work can help you figure out which methodologies to utilize, what data or resources are already freely available to work with, and what Research limits to solve. Developing beneficial relationships with potential collaborators

As Research entails testing, verifying, and rejecting hypotheses regularly, keeping up with recent publications will assist you in defining building blocks for your study.

Guidance & Confirming that your Research is focused on a new topic

One of the key responsibilities for a doctorate adviser, department head, or field expertise is to advise students on relevant research subjects.

Staying current on literature in your line of work and learning how to do it effectively will help you better support them and guide their research careers. You will not only be assisting them in their career advancements, but you will also be contributing to the improvement of your discipline as a whole.

Observing what your competitors are doing

Research involves many activities. As a researcher, you rely on the information and insights of other researchers to help you understand specific elements of your profession or related disciplines.

How do I stay current with Research Topics?

Keeping upto date may appear daunting at first, but your sources can be divided into two categories: formal and informal. You’ll need to put up mechanisms for the many sources you deem to be relevant if you want to stay on top of newly published and emergent Research.


As your priorities may alter over time, you’ll need to go back and evaluate your notifications from time to time, especially if you’re performing your Research over several months or even years. To track changes in the direction of your original study interest, you have to create new alerts. As a result, keeping up with the Research Topics can help you uncover potential solutions or alternatives to problems you’re having with your study.

How to fix 5 Desk Rejection

Rejection from a journal is no one’s cup of tea but then it’s a reality that a large number of the article gets rejected across different journals.  Also, Journals mention the acceptance rate or the changes of the article getting rejected on their web page.

High impact or top journals routinely reject the majority of the articles. Few changes can improve the chances of successful publication.

  • Non-accordance with the journal’s aim & scope

Very often while selecting a journal we feel that the aim and scope match our field of work; however, it’s not the case.  We need to read the former a couple of times along with the recently published articles to be doubly sure regarding the scope of journals.

  • Lack of proper language and presentation style

Language is an important medium for sharing scientific know-how. Grammatical and scientifically correct language and abiding by the journal formatting guild lines are mandated for avoiding desktop rejection.

  • Plagiarism and simultaneous submission to more than one journal

Copying someone’s work as our own data is a violation of professional ethics. Always give due acknowledgment to someone else’s data while writing. Never submit your work to multiple journals at a time. The author should wait till the editorial process of one journal is over or they have got a clear cut no from the journal.

  • Ambiguity in methodology

The process of the study or the research protocol is mentioned in the methodology. It should be clear and systematic. Any flaw in the methodology section represents non-clarity on how the study was conducted.

  • Abide by journal’s formatting guidelines

Stick to the journal’s requirement for word count, font, line spacing, and margin. Also, be careful with the number of figures and tables allowed and their format for submission. The placement of the figure and table is also crucial that is, whether it should be at the end of the manuscript or within the text itself. Reference formatting both in text and in the list at the end of the manuscript needs lots of precession.

Most Common Reasons for Journal Editors Rejecting Paper

Rejection is unpleasant for everyone since it is demotivating. Even top scientists have encountered rejection in their carrier. Academic publishing, on the other hand, is rife with rejection. Any script could be rejected for multiple causes, which could be grouped into two categories: technical and editorial.

Technical reasons 

Fragmented information, like narrow sample size or missing or ineffective controls

The data obtained from the investigation is inadequate to form the conclusion stated in the manuscript. If the size of the taken sample is tiny or the control isn’t distinct, this can happen. If the obtained data doesn’t support the hypothesis of a paper, rejection is inevitable.

Poor analysis like using improper statistical tests or nonexistence of statistics altogether

At the time of research and scientific study, statistical analysis of the gathered results is of utmost importance. Choosing a suitable statistical technique to examine the research findings, alternatively, can be puzzling. The acquired outcomes are doubtful because of inappropriate analysis and the use of an unproductive technique.

Unsuitable procedure for replying to the hypothesis or using a timeworn methodology

Using an outdated research methodology while innovative methods promise further precise results will result in rejection. The most likely conclusion will be that the results collected are faulty because there are better means to carry out the research.

Editorial reasons

Out of scope

Each journal has a well-defined goal and scope, which may be seen on their website. Early-career researchers frequently miss this step and submit manuscripts to journals without considering if their work provides value to the publication and its audience.

Inadequate impact/quality of research

If the paper’s topic isn’t of curiosity to the audience of the journal, it will very certainly be rejected. It could also be that the paper’s findings are not up to the mark, or that the manuscript is clearly part of a larger study that has been divided up to make as many articles as possible.

Ignoring research ethics like signed patients’ consent from or approval from an ethics committee

Papers that deal with ethical issues or appear to be based on unethical behavior, particularly those that do not approach these issues with a critical eye are unlikely to be accepted.

Absence of appropriate formatting necessities

In general, authors do not read/follow the clearly stated guidelines or the ‘house-style.’ For example, incorrect citation style is a common mistake that stands out right immediately. Another quite easy-to-spot manuscript is one that has probably been rejected a number of times previously, not revised, and the submission feels like the authors have decided ‘any journal, will do.

Nonexistence of current references or prevalence of self-citations

The content of the article must be supported by up-to-date references, failing which the paper will be rejected by the journal editor. Furthermore, the number of self-employed people has increased.

Poor technical Language in writing the paper

Some of the rejections are due to poor language quality, which makes it difficult for readers to understand. Rejection will also occur if there is insufficient detail for readers to adequately comprehend and replicate the authors’ findings and experiments.


Journals reject papers for publication for a variety of reasons, some owing to the research quality or paper, and others because of wholly needless causes such as mismatch with the journal. Furthermore, even high-quality articles are frequently rejected by journals due to space limits or other concerns. The above-mentioned reasons are some of the most common reasons for rejection, but not all. Other reasons include lack of space for more publication; the journal may have published another paper with similar research and does not wish to revisit the field and publication bias.

Publishing your article after Acceptance

What is an Accepted Manuscript?

The version of the manuscript that has been peer-reviewed is the accepted version. The simplest permitted versions are files that are effectively just plain text with no layout characteristic. This is how the vast majority of accepted papers appear. The Accepted Manuscript should be identical to the final published edition, but there should be no logo, citation details, copyediting, formatting, or copyright marking from the publisher. The document might be in PDF or Word format. Keep a copy of your Accepted Manuscript for any future postings after you receive the acceptance email from the Editorial Office.

What documents do you receive after acceptance?

When your paper is accepted for publication, the proofs are sent to the corresponding author. A paper is subedited (copyedited) after it is accepted to achieve optimum clarity and reach. Ensuring the accuracy of references is vital as published papers should not contain errors. Your paper is combined into an issue of the journal and published in its final form once the associated author approves them.

  • An acceptance letter from your journal’s editorial system.
  • When the object is passed to production, the Production Tracking System (PTS) sends an acknowledgment letter with the following information:
  • The reference code for the utility to track your accepted article.
  • Offprint Order form link to order Proofs and reprint of your article.
  • Copyright, sponsorship and funding, and open access are all covered in the Rights and Access form.
  • A link to a colour figure reproduction form, if applicable.

What to do after Research Paper acceptance?

There are still things that you must-do if you truly want to benefit from your publication.

  • Get an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) as it assigns a unique identification to each research output, ensuring that your work is not mistaken with that of others.
  • Making the accepted work online provides some advantages, including:
  • Earlier access to research that can be read and cited
  • Authors can promote their work as soon as it is acknowledged by their peers, keeping the publication process moving forward.
  • Share it with people as possible to recognize and respond to your work. Breaking down technical and language barriers is another powerful and effective strategy to increase public interest in your work. The way different publishers and periodicals address the problem of sharing differs.
  • Researchers will have more prospects for grant acceptance because they would be able to list their work early.
  • After all of your time and work has gone into publishing and promoting your paper, it only makes sense to keep an eye on it and assess the feedback.


The length of time it takes to prove an article varies by journal. Most journals will send you proofs within two weeks of receiving your acknowledgment letter. Many papers are published online one week before they are printed, and the corresponding authors of these papers will be notified via e-mail when the online publishing date is confirmed. It takes roughly 4-6 weeks for an article to be published after it has been accepted. After that, you can unwind, relax, and reward yourself for your work until the next piece.

Roles & Responsibilities of Peer-Reviewers

Peer-Review Process

Peer Review is an influential process of academic journal publication. All Manuscripts are Peer Reviewed by the subject experts.

Before a scholarly work is published or approved, it is reviewed by a group of experts in the same field to ensure that it meets the appropriate criteria.

Stages of Peer-Review

Did you know the Process of Peer-Review?

Initial Check

It is done by the Editor who reads & approves the manuscript for Peer Review Process. The manuscript may be rejected at this level.

Editor-in-chief Review

Experts evaluate the manuscript and see if the scope of the journal is well defined and interesting.

Assigned to Editor With Subject Expertise

Experts who have subject knowledge related to the manuscript evaluate the manuscript.

Peers / Referees

The experts who check the manuscripts are known as Peers or Referees. They check the following things:

  • Quality & Significance of the Manuscript
  • About the Research topic – if it is Interesting and Important
  • Sound Methodology
  • Arriving at Logical Conclusions
  • Checking the Findings are original

Review Return

The Peers give a high-quality review after evaluation of the manuscript.

Editor’s Final Decision

Editors decide if the manuscript is worthy of publishing or not. If approved, they may recommend revisions to the Authors.

Responsibilities of Journal Editors 

Have you ever wondered what Journal Editors do in Peer-Review?

Roles towards Authors 

  • Providing constructive feedback promptly on the scholarly merits and the scientific value of the work.
  • Providing specific suggestions for improvement and stating the details of the journal in a Cover Letter.
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the review process.

Roles towards Editors

  • Informing the editor immediately if unable to review.
  • Following the editor’s comments and creating an abstract if required.
  • Determining scientific merit, originality, importance & clarity of the hypothesis and scope of the work and indicating ways to improve it.
  • Providing Critical Assessment – Strength & Weakness of Introduction, Methodology, Data Analysis, Results, Discussion & Conclusion.
  • Checking the formatting of the Manuscript and instructing if it is not in proper order.
  • Looking into Internal Consistency of the Manuscript, Writing Style & Figure/ Table Presentation.
  • Checking the Appropriateness of References, Title, Abstracts, and Conclusions.
  • Ensuring that the manuscript adheres to the journal’s guidelines.

Roles towards Readers

  • Assuring that the methodology and results of the review are easily accessible to the readers.
  • Citing sources to assist readers in gathering knowledge about the journal.


The Editor’s decision is crucial in the publication of a journal. The Author, Editor, and Readers are all subjected to peer review. Academic journals rely heavily on peer review for publication.

To conclude, the purpose of Peer Reviewers is to

  • Select the manuscript for the journal
  • Determine the Originality of the manuscript
  • Improve the quality of the published paper
  • Ensures previous work is acknowledged
  • Determine the importance of findings

The best Peer Reviewers tend to view themselves as Mentors rather than Critics.

Professional help for a Rejected Manuscript

Getting a journal rejection is never easy. Even though rejections from editors or requests for revision from peer review is a very common happening in the publishing world, it is always a challenge for an author to rework their manuscript for re-submission.

This is where a professional editor and proofreader can help immensely. In today’s world of hectic professional schedules, it is often not feasible for academicians to keep reworking on their manuscripts and more and more authors are now engaging professional services for the same. Even though engaging such professionals obviously involves monetary expenses, there are some key factors why they offer real value for money.

Streamlining of revisions: A rejected manuscript with revisions suggested by peer-review can often be a complex document to work on. It requires proper mapping of the changes required and tracking of the progress of revision. This is where a professional editor can be invaluable. Editors are experts in keeping track of changes/edits and streamlining revision processes. A professional editor can list all the issues, demarcate which areas will require your intervention and which all can be handled by the editor or a proofreader, and help streamline the entire revision process.

Language correction: more often than not, journals reject manuscripts for language-related problems. In most cases, the problems are basic grammatical errors or mistakes in spelling and punctuation or something more advanced like awkward or confusing phrases, failure to observe consistency, improper referencing leading to confusion over terminologies used, etc. A more overarching challenge is the inability of the author to clearly communicate their message within the strict limitations of word count, formatting structure, etc. A professional proofreader can help ease much of these pains. They also bring a critical third person’s perspective of a reader and are better able to identify the problem areas than the author, who is often too deeply engrained to notice such issues.

Technicalities: many a time an author gets lost in the complexities of formatting requirements. Journals have very specific instructions about formatting. This ranges from alignment, referencing syntax, how to label or edit images and graphs, referencing and citation formats, etc. All these technicalities often prove to be confusing for an author whose primary focus is obviously the main content. A professional editor or proofreader on the other hand is more attuned to handle such technical details.

Subject specialization: Often peer-reviews ask for certain technical revisions that require subject specialization. This in turn means that authors require help or advice from their peers or subject experts on these matters. Today, professional editing services offer subject experts advice as well. These experts have the added advantage of having worked on manuscript submission with most journals and therefore have a much clearer understanding of what the editors or reviewers require. They also serve as perfect proxies for potential readers of the article and can offer better insights on the manuscript than most.

A professional editor or proofreader services offer end to end services at every stage of a publication process and are a potent tool for an author.

Understanding manuscript evaluation by high impact journals

Every academician wants to publish their articles in high impact journals. This in turn makes it extremely challenging as all such journals are flooded with submissions. In fact, for many of these journals, it is a challenge for the editorial team to select suitable articles to publish from the sea of submissions.

As an author, while you already have clarity of what you want to convey via your article, you also need to understand what the editorial board of a high impact journal is looking for to publish. Therefore, it is important to understand the manuscript evaluation process of such journals.

What is manuscript evaluation: Essentially, A manuscript evaluation is an in-depth, developmental, and structural manuscript editing report developed by the editorial team of a journal. It provides a bigger picture of the manuscript by deeply analyzing its many facts and is shared by junior editors with senior colleagues. The manuscript evaluation covers technicalities, like whether the manuscript follows author guidelines, whether proper citations, indexing, and data labeling have been done, etc. All these can be covered by proper manuscript editing at the end of the author before submission.

The other critical aspect of manuscript evaluation is the qualitative assessment of the article. This looks into the structure and organization of the article, the clarity of ideas espoused, the brevity and consistency of the language in which it is written.

Do your basic hygiene check: every author must focus on manuscript editing to ensure a basic standard before submission, especially to high impact journals. Articles written badly, with poor language or paragraphing are automatically rejected. The manuscript should have a clear point of view of the research and should deviate in course of the narrative. Structure and organization of the article, be it in terms of sections, paragraph construction, the flow of a narrative from one section to the other, must be well planned and executed.

Evaluate your work from an editor’s point of view: any editor of a high-impact journal is very conscious of maintaining the high impact quotient of their publication. Therefore, they are not only looking for good quality papers but are also keen to publish papers that they feel will be widely quoted and cited. Therefore, they are also assessing the impact factor of your manuscript. Some of the criteria they have are:

  • Will other researchers be interested in reading the study?
  • Does the article match the journal’s present audience, or help reach out to newer audiences?
  • Does the importance of the advances offered in the article up to the standards of the journal?
  • Does the manuscript add additional value to any discourse or does it just add noise to an already busy field of study?

When you write your manuscript, relook it from the editor’s point of view and check if your research meets these criteria.

Lastly, do remember that it is only after the Chief Editor has passed your manuscript will it be shared for peer review. So, you need to clear it with editors before a field expert actually evaluates your article.


Submitting a manuscript for journal publication requires an author to strictly follow guidelines suggested by the journals. Failing to follow guidelines leads to the rejection of the manuscript, which is obviously undesirable for any author. Therefore, it is imperative that these formatting guidelines are followed very carefully before submitting an article.

Here are some key pointers to be aware of while formatting a manuscript as per journal guidelines.

The structure of the manuscript: Check carefully the different sections and structure required by the journal for submission. Journals often have specific instructions for Cover page, Excerpts, Executive summary, Abstract, Appendix, References, etc. Not all journals ask for all such sections. For instance, one journal may request for a short abstract, while others may ask for a bit longer executive summary. It is important to follow these instructions as per requirements. Usually, all journals require a cover letter along with the submission as well. Follow instructions on the format for a cover letter if specified.

Referencing: A critical component of any academic article is its references. Strictly follow referencing guidelines of a journal as prescribed in the guidelines. Some journals may request inline referencing, references in footnotes, while others may request for end text references. Moreover, the format of referencing is also critical. There are some general conventions of referencing and most authors are well versed in them. However, it is imperative that you follow the one specified by the journal for its manuscripts.

Formatting: every journal has specific instructions for formatting. Often, journals have different formatting requirements for different stages of the manuscript. For instance. Some journals may request double spacing for the manuscript they require for peer review, while the final print document may be single spacing. Font, font size, spacing, paragraph specifications are some of the key focus areas for formatting.

Diagrams and tables: diagrams and tables are an integral part of a scientific publication, and often manuscripts have a plethora of them. Check the title requirement, size requirement, formatting details for charts, etc for diagrams. A common mistake often done by authors is about the colours used in their diagrams and charts. If the journal does not support coloured printing, your charts and diagrams have to design in black and grey monochrome. You not only have to careful to change the colour tone as per requirements but also ensure the charts and diagrams are distinctive and easy to read in those colour tones.

Word Count: The importance of word count needs to be reiterated. Every section of the manuscript may have word counts and need to be adhered to. If the journal asks for an abstract of 250 words; you need to draft an abstract within 250 words. The same applies for every section, chapter, etc. as may be specified.

Most importantly, read the instructions for each journal carefully. Authors often rehash one submission for another journal; so be careful not to mix up the instructions. The same article for different journals needs to be formatted from scratch to meets each journal’s specific requirements.