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Using an outdated research methodology while innovative methods promise further precise results will result in rejection.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.

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