Writing high quality scientific papers is as much an art as it is a science. Despite the fact that most academics are experienced technical writers, rejection by scientific journals is commonplace.
An analysis of rejection rates by Frontiers demonstrates that the vast majority of journals reject 60–80% of all papers submitted. Furthermore, they found no correlation between rejection rate and the impact factor of the journal (r2 = 0.0023), indicating that submitting to lower impact journals does not necessarily increase acceptance rates. Rejection rates for the highest impact journals (e.g., Science and Nature) can be as high as 95%. Unfortunately, the top reasons for manuscript rejection [1–7] are poorly understood by most authors and technical writers, who are often too close to their own research to identify both fatal and non-fatal flaws in their manuscripts.
- Thrower, P. Eight reasons I rejected your article. Elsevier Connect https://www.elsevier.com/connect/8-reasons-i-rejected-your-article (2012).
- Eassom, H. 9 Common Reasons for Manuscript Rejection. https://www.wiley.com/network/researchers/submission-and-navigating-peer-review/9-common-reasons-for-manuscript-rejection (2021).
- Menon, V., Varadharajan, N., Praharaj, S. K. & Ameen, S. Why do manuscripts get rejected? A content analysis of rejection reports from the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. Indian J. Psychol. Med. 0253717620965845 (2020).
- Dhammi, I. K. & Rehan-Ul-Haq. Rejection of Manuscripts: Problems and Solutions. Indian J. Orthop. 52, 97–99 (2018).
- Krausman, P. R. The Necessity of Manuscript Rejection. J. Wildl. Manag. 84, 839–840 (2020).
- Bordage, G. Reasons Reviewers Reject and Accept Manuscripts: The Strengths and Weaknesses in Medical Education Reports. Acad. Med. 76, 889–896 (2001).
- Cassey, P. & Blackburn, T. M. Publication rejection among ecologists. Trends Ecol. Evol. 18, 375–376 (2003).