Receiving a rejection letter from a journal editor can be disappointing, especially since you have submitted your paper in the hopes of it getting published. You have waited for months in hopes of getting that acceptance letter and getting the opposite of what you anticipated is disheartening. You might start asking yourself if getting published is even a realistic option and whether your work is important to the academic world. “We are sorry to inform you that the editors feel that your current manuscript is not suitable as a research paper for our journal” is how a journal editor would usually inform you of their decision to reject your manuscript. This may be discouraging because it is not asking for a major revision or edits. It is a flat-out rejection letter, which is called“Desk Rejection.”” However, the least helpful thing you could do is get dispirited and give up on your paper. Although sometimes the rejection reasons are not given or not clear, usually you will receive a further explanation in the rejection letter on a separate sheet or by including reviewer reports by the editor (Tress Academic, 2020). After reviewing the letter, there are a few common options that researchers usually take in hopes of getting their paper published.
Appeal the Rejection
Journals generally have a policy for appealing editorial decisions posted publicly. Although appealing a decision is within your rights as an author publishing with the journal, make sure that you go through this process based on logic and not emotion. You would want to describe specific errors, rather than saying that it was simply unfair. If there is a legitimate misunderstanding or errors made in your rejection, point these out clearly in the appeal and reference your submission without belittling the reviewers or coming off as argumentative. Instead, use this chance to clarify any misconstrued comments (Mudrak, n.d.).
Appeals that are made on the basis of the scope of the journal or your perception of the impact of your work are not likely to succeed. Another option similar to appealing is for you to resubmit to the same journal, since a journal may reject your initial offering but invite you to resubmit later having reviewed the comments outlined in your rejection letter. This may be your best option if you feel strongly about publishing in that specific journal. However, it is important to note that some journals will mention that they are not interested in accepting any future versions of the manuscript, and this decision should be respected. In this case, you may want to try out the next option (Mudrak, n.d.).
Submit to Another Journal
If you do not feel strongly about publishing your paper specifically in the journal you received your rejection letter from, this would be your recommended approach for what to do after a rejection. This is, in fact, the most common option. You would carefully review the comments made by the editor you previously submitted to and use them to improve your manuscript. After making those changes, submit your paper to a different journal. Make sure to alter details in the cover letter, reference format, and other journal-specific details if applicable before submitting your paper to a different journal. Hopefully, the new reviewers will find your article more fitting for their journal (Elsevier, 2021).
Another approach you may take is not changing anything from your first manuscript and submitting it to another journal. Although this approach is easy, it is not recommended that you go down this route. By simply submitting an unedited manuscript, you are negating all the work and time put into the first round of review. It is likely that some of the changes suggested will improve your submission, even if some of the other suggestions may be mistaken. It is probable that some of the new reviewers will pick up some of the errors mentioned in the first round of review in your previous submission. Do not miss out on a chance to address them ahead of time and avoid another rejection. Also, on a practical note, it is likely that you will have some of the same reviewers that reviewed your first paper. If you have not made any changes, it would not be surprising that they would bring up those issues again (Mudrak, n.d.).
Finding An Alternative Journal
If you are struggling to compile a preliminary list of journals or do not have time to research all the details yourself, there are several journal finder tools that can help you, such as eContent Pro (eCPro)’s Journal Identifier Database (JiD).
JiD is a journal matching tool that analyzes the coverage and metrics of 3,000+ scholarly peer-reviewed journals in over 10 subject areas, including medicine, environmental science, government and law, library and information science, etc. In order to ensure the credibility of each journal in the database, JiD only recommends journals published by academic publishers that are recognized by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). One of our main goals in offering this free tool is to decrease the risk of authors falling prey to the many predatory journals currently in the market.
The tool itself is very user-friendly. All you do is identify your current research subject, provide a few keywords, and write a brief description of your manuscript. After you click “Find Journals,” JiD gives you up to five free journal suggestions based on the data you entered. You can also use the tool to generate suggestions for a different manuscript if you have more than one. There’s no limit!
If JiD’s results do not provide you with exactly what you were looking for, then you have the option to take the process a step further by utilizing eContent Pro’s paid Journal Recommendation Service. If you follow through with this service, our expert journal selectors will read through your entire document and provide a minimum of five journal recommendations that directly suit your research. Even though the expert journal selectors cannot guarantee your manuscript will be accepted by the recommended journals they provide, this service will ensure that you are submitting your work to the most relevant publication possible.
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Ask for Professional Writing Services
Do not let avoidable mistakes hinder your work from getting published. Even small grammatical mistakes can cause confusion about your results and data and lead to multiple rejections. In some cases, if your target audience of the journal is not your native language, you can use translation services with editors from that language. These edits make a big difference in the eyes of some reviewers. Even for fluent English speakers, it is recommended to use professional language editing services to reach high proficiency in your paper.
eContent Pro makes sure that the journal editor review runs smoothly by offeringcopy editing and proofreading servicesbefore you submit your work to minimize rejections pertaining to wording or grammar. You can also utilize theeContent Pro scholarly and scientific editingg where at least two of your peers with expertise in the area of your research will provide you blind pre-peer review of your work.