Publishing industry is enormous and authors are open to choose the appropriate journal for submission. Though, there are thousands of journals to choose from, the rejection is common in scholarly publishing. The rejection causes demotivation among researchers, who dedicate months in designing and writing a perfectly molded paper.

Here, we have focused on the common mistakes for which academic papers are rejected by journals.

Technical screening

Manuscripts submitted to a reputed high impact academic journal undergo severe scrutiny even before they are screened by the editorial board members and reviewers.

The primary causes of their rejection at this stage are:

  • The paper is not relevant to the journal’s readers or are not under the aims and scope of the journal
  • Paper lacks novelty in the relevant field
  • Plagiarized content
  • Ethical concerns
  • Unavailability of Informed consent forms of subjects
  • If similar research papers are already under consideration
  • The paper has not been prepared based on the journal’s guidelines
  • Incomplete materials (If the author hasn’t provided the mandatory documents)


Peer review process

After the initial screening, the editors assign the reviewers to initiate the peer-review process. In the peer-review a comprehensive critical analysis of the high-quality papers takes place.

The primary causes of their rejection at this stage are:

  • The aim is unclear and introduction part lacks clarity
  • Use of insignificant or outdated procedures or methodology
  • Statistical analysis of the data is inadequate and weak
  • Illogical or unstructured arguments
  • The data does not support the conclusions
  • Insufficient data failing to produce significant result
  • Poor writing or contains too much jargons
  • Inconsistencies in the writing with grammatical and spelling errors


Quality of figures and other issues

  • If author has failed to obtain written consent of the participants before/during the research.
  • Conflict of interest declaration, copyright issues, plagiarized data and other ethical concerns associated with the research paper.
  • The journal may not have the space for the paper
  • The paper is incompetent with the high standards of other papers submitted to the journal
  • Non-archival data and of insignificant value to the journal
  • Poorly designed and irrelevant repetition tables or figures

Whatever the reasons, make sure that you read the feedback in depth and reflect on it. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback, it’s still important to understand why someone else might have thought that. Hence, knowing and accepting the reasons of rejection by the journal can significantly enhance the chance of publication in the next attempt.

One thought on “Common Reasons Why a Research Paper Gets Rejected by Journals”
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