A manuscript goes through critical evaluation when submitted to a journal for publication. Even before getting selected for peer review, it has to pass the initial assessment and then a final assessment by the editor-in-chief. For these reasons, rejections are considered very common in the world of publications. Here are a few reasons why manuscripts are rejected:
- The manuscript does not fall within the journal’s aim and scope. The aim and scope of different journals greatly vary. It is essential to check if your paper’s topic falls within the journal’s scope. It is also important to assess if the paper you are submitting will be relevant to the journal’s primary readership. It is imperative to first learn about the scope and aim of the journal you want to send your manuscript to. The best tip here is to list down all the journals relevant to your research work and start with the one you like the most.
- Writing is incomprehensible. Almost all the journals expect your manuscript to be written professionally. It is important that all your ideas are communicated clearly and effectively. It is equally important to focus on grammar, spelling, and other aspects of writing such as references, figures, and tables. If these factors are missing or are not given proper attention, it will take the publisher a little time to reject your manuscript. There are lots of tools available that can help you refine your research writing.
- This manuscript doesn’t meet the standards of our journal. Simply drafting and submitting a manuscript does not guarantee you will get your paper published. It should meet the standards of the journal you want to publish your paper at. If your study falls outside the scope of the journal or is just a rephrase of previous journals, you may face rejection. Likewise, if you were not able to substantiate your arguments and present your case well enough, it is likely that the paper will be rejected. Most of the journals do not reveal the reason for rejection.
- Manuscript doesn’t adhere to the IMRD format. Understanding the IMRD format is very important if you want to publish a paper. IMRD stands for Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussions and is the standard for scientific papers. But a majority of the researchers don’t give it much attention, and this leads to serious flaws in the manuscript they send to the journal they want to publish at. According to a study, more than 70% of the submitted manuscripts at an African journal had serious flaws with respect to the IMRD standard. However, if you focus on this area, the chances of getting your manuscript accepted for peer review are improved.
- Violation of research ethics. In writing a manuscript, you are required to acknowledge and take the written consent of all participants (if any). You also need to declare that the research has been carried out solely by you and is free of plagiarism. Failing to comply with any of these factors will lead to possible rejection by a journal, on the grounds of violation of research ethics.
By keeping these things in mind, you should be able to craft a paper that will most likely be considered by the journal you submitted to. However, the final decision to accept or reject your paper will solely depend on the reviewers and the criteria that they have set.
If a journal rejects your manuscript, it means you made some mistakes in drafting your manuscript. Or you have chosen the wrong journal for your paper. Some journals may tell you the reasons for rejection too. Just go through what is lacking in your manuscript and work on the flaws you are making. Make sure your research has an academic contribution, significance to the field you are working in and is original and reproducible. You may also have a meeting with your supervisor or a fellow researcher to discuss such issues.
Here are a few questions to focus on:
- Is your research methodology correct?
- Is your IMRD structure correct?
- Are the tables and figures precisely labeled and interpreted?
- Is the language you have used simple and perfect?
If you still need help with drafting your manuscript, you may hire the services of professionals who are normally experienced and good at drafting manuscripts. If everything goes well, you will end up having your paper published.