What Are The Major Reasons For Scientific Manuscript Rejection?

Research paper writing is a specialized skill that all academicians have to learn. While publication is an essential part of the profession, the rates of rejection by journals are too high. Estimates suggest that for highly regarded journals like Cell, Nature, and Science, the rejection rate is as high as 97%! That is to say, of all the 100 submissions, only 3 make it through editorial and peer review scrutiny, and this is for top professionals of their fields! Therefore, it is critical that authors are aware of the reasons for rejection in order to avoid the same.

Top reasons for rejection:

Editorial reasons for Rejection

Mismatched scope: Each journal has a well-defined aim and scope, focusing on some specific area of the field. Often, authors share manuscripts with reputed journals for publication without actually checking if their article matches the journal objectives. It is best to check the scope of the journal before sharing the original manuscript; you may simply write to the editor to enquire if they are interested in an article on the topic you have written on.

Quality of writing: Many times, editors reject articles at the initial screening simply because of poor language. Journals have their own set of writing guidelines, including referencing style, font, etc. Any submission not fulfilling these conditions are automatically rejected. Poor language is another pet peeve of most editors, as is plagiarized content.

Value addition: Editors look for articles that add value to their journals. Often editors will reject articles that they find to be extensions of an earlier publication by the same author, the article has no archival value or adds little to the ongoing discourse.

Technical Reasons for Rejection

The structure: Most articles need to have a basic structure, starting with an introduction, followed by a literature review, methodology, etc. For empirical studies, the methodology, data reporting, etc. have to follow well-established protocols. Failure to adhere to accepted structures will lead to rejection.

Poor data work: Poor or insufficient data work is often the biggest bane. Journals will reject articles if they feel the hypothesis is unclear, data collection and analysis is insufficient or does not measure up to industry standards, poor or insufficient analytical tools, inconclusive data leading to speculation, especially in the conclusion. You need to have clarity on whether you need to undertake parametric or non-parametric tests for your data, whether the sample size is good enough to draw conclusions, whether the proper statistical checks and measures are adhered to, etc.

Poor referencing: Referencing is critical for an original submission, as it is directly linked to the problem of plagiarism. You must ensure that all your sources are duly referred to, and that too in the format specified by the journal. Often, journals will also reject articles if your references have dated articles and they feel you are not updated on the subject, or you are referring to the same article multiple times over the article.

It is advised to be acutely aware of these factors in advance before even drafting the original manuscript for submission.

Top 10 tips to write an introduction for your research paper

Writing a polished introduction can be a tricky task. Authors prefer writing this part of the manuscript at the end once they know what the article will contain to ensure that they do not miss anything.

Here are 10 tips that can help you write an introduction that fits your research the best:

For more information please visit: https://www.pubmanu.com/top-10-tips-write-introduction-research-paper/

Tips for Writing a Research Paper

In general terms, a research paper presents the writer’s viewpoint of a particular topic. Students might be required to submit a research paper (thesis/dissertation) for acquiring some professional qualification or degree. Researchers need to submit their original research or review results to be published in journals. A particular format needs to be followed while writing a research paper. The format might vary depending on the respective journal guidelines.

Problems in Writing a Research Paper

Writing a research paper is considered a complex process by many. They have no idea as to how and from where to start. The most common difficulty is not doing enough research about the study topic. Before you think about how to write a research paper, you need to first decide what to write. So, give yourself ample time to analyze the study topic thoroughly. Another major problem that is frequently faced is proper organization of a research paper. Presenting the facts in an organized manner is of utmost importance. There is often a lack of knowledge of the basic structure of a research paper. Different journals have different formats. That adds to the confusion of the students/researchers. To make things easier, the general format of a research paper is discussed below.

Basic Format of a Research Paper

Title Page

Frame a suitable title for your research paper based on your research objective. It should not be too lengthy. Some journals specify a word limit for titles. Mention the author(s) name(s) with the respective institutional details. Full postal details of the corresponding author should also be mentioned. A short running head may or may not be specified depending on the target journal guidelines.

Abstract

Abstract is a brief summary of the entire paper. Although small, it is a vital aspect of your research paper. People decide whether they want to go through the entire paper or not after reading the Abstract. It should present the research objective, methodology, results and conclusions of the research in brief. Generally, an Abstract can be of 200–300 words. But, some journals specify specific word limits for it.

Introduction

The introduction gives an insight about your research topic to the reader. It should provide the complete background information about your topic. Explain the key terms of your research, and cite relevant information and findings from previous studies. Mention your research objective and hypothesis in this section. You can also list the remaining sections of your paper and mention what they present at the end of this section. This section is generally written in present tense.

Methods

This section should provide sufficient information about the materials and methods that were used to conduct the research. The study environment, strategies, instruments/equipments, data collection and analysis techniques that you used should be listed.

Results

All the results that were obtained in relevance to the research question should be presented in detail. Use figures and tables to illustrate your findings, wherever applicable. Ensure that the results are presented systematically in a sequence, including the figures and tables.

Discussion

In this section, you need to describe the implications or significance of your findings. You have to present your facts that support and refer to the statements made in the Introduction. It should be properly organized as is relevant to your research. You should avoid putting forth new ideas in this section. The effect and contribution of the study should also be mentioned here. Interpret your results properly and mention the supporting data for your conclusion.

Conclusion

This is an overall summary of the paper. Mention your research objective and discuss the points that you covered during your research. Generally, while writing a research paper, it is considered that Conclusion is much easier to write compared to Introduction because, in the former, the memory of the results is still fresh.Your Conclusion should relate directly to the statements that you made in the Introduction. Like Introduction, this section is usually kept in the present tense.

Acknowledgements

In this section, you can thank the individuals or institutions who made your research possible.

References

This section should contain a list of all the references cited in the paper. Ensure that you have cited only credible sources in your paper.