The rate of journal rejection differs across different journals. Irrespective of the rate, it’s very discouraging for the scholars who spend years planning their research, securing funds, compiling and analyzing data, and making sound conclusions to benefit their readers. Therefore, we recommend you to do your homework before submitting your manuscript to a journal for publication. You must know the journal’s standards, formats and its rejection rates.
Also, knowing the common reasons for rejection will help you draft the manuscript as per the concerns and recommendations of the peer-reviewers and resubmit.
Reasons for Rejection
The common reasons a manuscript gets rejected by any journal are:
- Technical errors like the discrepancy between the abstract and the remaining manuscript, the study of the wrong groups, wrong statistics, clinically insignificant results, no relation between the results and their discussion, false data, etc.
- The manuscript is out of the scope of the journal.
- A lengthy manuscript that violates the word count limit
- Too many language errors
- Defective Methods of research
- Inappropriate conclusions
- Improper Format of the manuscript
When you submit your research paper to a journal, it is first screened for any technical errors and analysed for the appropriateness of the subject. Plagiarism checks, a duplicate submission, and simultaneous submission are checked followed by the completeness of paper as per the journal’s guidelines.
Journals have space restrictions too. Therefore, they set a word count limit for all the manuscripts to be submitted. Don’t fool the editors with wider margins and smaller fonts, your paper will be straight away rejected.
All the journals have specific formatting requirements regarding the citation styles, tables and figures, colour, and alignment. Plus, they prefer manuscripts written in the first person with an explanatory language.
The methods section must be complete and so written that anyone who reads your paper can duplicate your research by following the steps described in the section.
Tips to Avoid Paper Rejection
- Timing is most important when writing and submitting your manuscript. In fact, decide on your goals well before you begin your study; how much data is required, what figures to use, and whether the journal’s publishing schedule fits with yours. Study the various journals’ scope, impact factor, readership, and rejection rates and compile your own list of preferred journals to submit.
- Write an abstract concisely presenting all the required subsections. An abstract is the first thing an editor will see and judge the tone of your manuscript.
- If your study contributes some new information on your subject, it will be of more value to the high-impact journals. Otherwise, submit to a journal with a lower impact factor.
- Always check your data and calculations before submitting. Make sure the data in the tables and figures is same as in the text. Be consistent in your language throughout the paper.
- Get your colleagues and peers to review the paper. They will view the paper with a fresh perspective and identify minor errors you might have missed. They will offer valuable suggestions to revise your paper before submission.
- Finally, take help from publication support services. These services have editors and subject matter experts who can revise your manuscript as per the journal guidelines. With these services by your side, you don’t have to worry about journal rejection at all!
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