Every researcher aims to publish their work in a high-impact journal. However, publishing research is no easy task, and manuscript rejection is a common occurrence in academic publishing. Every researcher faces rejection of their manuscript at some point in their career. Every failure is a stepping stone to success, and researchers can learn from their mistakes to ensure a smooth publication for their next manuscript. Several peer-reviewed studies have investigated the reasons that journals reject papers. Up to 90% of the submitted papers gets rejected due to language errors, missing publication readiness, and other issues. Hence, making use of online free tools can help avoid such rejections.
In this article, we list down the most common errors that could potentially lead to the rejection of your manuscript.
Common Reasons of Rejections
Out of scope is a fairly typical cause for rejection. It simply implies that editors do not consider your research for publication in their journal. The journal’s readers are not keen on either the topic or the sort of study. The advantage is that it does not necessarily imply that your article is ‘wrong.’ The disadvantage is that you sent your submission to the incorrect journal.
- Misleading titles can lead to the immediate rejection of your manuscript. You need to make sure that your title reflects what your study is about.
- Misleading abstracts are another issue that can lead to the rejection of a manuscript. Make sure the results and conclusions in the abstract are the same as the article.
- Incomplete introductions are considered a major shortcoming in writing. A complete introduction should ideally contain a study question, hypothesis, and study objectives. A complete introduction is essential to conveying the importance of your work.
- When your paper focuses too much on what you accomplished in your study without appropriately telling readers about the research question, your article will be rejected. Although you, as the author, may understand why and what you intend to do in your paper, this knowledge is critical for your readers to comprehend as well.
- Authors often tend to repeat their method throughout their articles. Reproduction of materials and methods from your previous written article is considered plagiarism if it is not mentioned correctly. The method should also be in accordance with the present study. Some methods may become obsolete as a result of new techniques or technologies.
- Error in the results section is a common occurrence. Authors tend to set aside information to comply with the limitations of the words specified by the journal. leaving out important information in the results can lead to the rejection of the manuscript.
- Irrational discussions are another error that can lead to the rejection of a manuscript. Mistakes in the discussion include the intermittent flow of ideas, the broad content that does not focus on results, biased views, the omission of other researchers’ key findings, and the ignorance of study limitations that can lead to the rejection of the manuscript.
- Flaws in the study design are another major reason for rejection by journals. Flaws in the study design would include poorly formulated study questions, and improper methodology, selection of the wrong representative samples, improper statistics, etc.
- A technical defect in the content of your manuscript can also lead to manuscript rejection. Common technical glitches include a mismatch between abstract and manuscript, the mismatch between discussion and results, and so on.
- Research articles must be novel and any article that does not meet this criterion will not be considered for publication.
- Excessive plagiarism or plagiarism itself is a serious moral violation that leads to the rejection of your manuscript. However, it is possible to prevent this misconduct by using an online plagiarism checker to verify sources, even if you are translating sentences.
- Non-adherence to scientific and writing ethics can lead to rejection of your manuscript. Authors should be responsible for and adhere to the ethical guidelines laid down in their field of study.
- Failure of the author to adhere to the guidelines specified by the journal may result in a delay in the publication of your work or a complete rejection by the journal editor.
- Poorly written manuscripts (poor language, grammar, word choice, tense, style of writing) can also lead to rejection. However, this can be avoided with various types of language editing applications such as Grammarly.
There are many reasons that journals reject manuscripts for publication, some due to the quality of the research or manuscript, and some due to completely avoidable reasons like a mismatch with the journal. Further, it is rare for journals to reject even high-quality manuscripts simply because of space constraints or other issues. The reasons given above are some of the most common reasons for rejection, but they are not the only ones. Sometimes, rejection may also be due to causes that authors have no control over, such as the journal receiving two papers dealing with the same topic, number of submissions received by the journal, peer reviewer quality, and space constraints.
How to avoid rejection?
In order to lessen the chance of article rejection, you can follow the tips suggested here:
- Read the scope of the journals presented on the Journal’s home page carefully and look for papers that are comparable.
- As an author it is better not to cite a lower-ranked publication
- To detect plagiarized text and properly cite it, use plagiarism detection programs.
- Before publishing, be aware of your study subject and look for comparable outcomes, and only publish important findings.
- Make comparisons to past work in the topic, and ensure that papers include a clear description of improvements to warrant publishing.
- Avoid putting too much emphasis on statistical significance over clinical importance.
- Indicate that the study received all necessary permissions.
- Authors should disclose all possible conflicts to the journal’s Editor and in the submission itself.
- before submitting your manuscript. prepare a checklist, and double-check that all the necessary criteria for submission.
- If you don’t have time or don’t comprehend the difficult instructions, you may hire a scientific editor to do it for you.
- All writers should read the article at least twice to look for inconsistencies and the technical problems mentioned above.
- Have a native-speaking colleague or a science editor evaluate your paper before submitting it for publication.