My Paper has been Rejected!

Every author gets rejected, Don’t despair!

  • Was your paper rejected very quickly after submission?
    • Subject not appropriate or timely for the journal
    • Author instructions were not not followed (paper not formatted correctly), English not sufficient for review, incomplete components
    • Abbreviations and acronyms = alphabet soup; make sure terminology is clear
    • Tracked changes, edits, comments between authors have not been removed before submission – submit a clean copy!
    • Figures, tables not formatted as instructed
  • Was your paper rejected after the peer-review process?
  • Consider objectively any reviewer/editor comments you did receive and revise accordingly, even before submitting to a different journal
  • Reformat before you submit elsewhere!
    • If the paper is formatted for Journal A, read the instructions for formatting for Journal B! The editorial office of Journal B will know immediately that your manuscript was formatted for another journal, was likely rejected there, and that may raise questions about its suitability.

Interesting Perspectives

There are a number of articles and blogs online explaining why health science manuscripts are rejected. Most report the same general reasons. Here’s an article from 2014, by a health science editor at Elsevier. If this doesn’t convince you that following a journal’s instructions are important, nothing will.

Another Elsevier editor had this to say in 2012:

From Research Medics:

Finally, some interesting opinions on ResearchGate: