There are several reasons why your research paper is rejected by the journal without review by the editorial board, and does not even see the daylight of peer reviewing process.

Research Paper Rejected

Seven Reasons why your Research Paper is Rejected

You painstakingly accomplish a research, write it up and submit to a journal for publication. Within few hours or days, you get an email from the editorial board excusing themselves for not being able to review your article, as it does not match their requirements. And hence, you  read the patronizing email stating why your research paper was rejected. No good! Isn’t it?

Well, you are not the only one; many of us have had to face a similar situation.

On a lighter note, even Hitler threw a fit when he had trouble getting his paper right.

We have enumerated seven common errors why your research paper gets rejected

1. INCOMPLETE TITLE PAGE

Well, that’s a real bad start. It’s the primary reason your research paper is rejected. Do not take the title page lightly, that’s the first thing the editorial board will see. It’s your foot trying to get into the door. There is specific information that journals require you to furnish at the outset. And boy, are they serious about them. Failure to divulge your information as per their “must let us know” information will surely have the editor click the “return for reformatting/revision” or worse “rejected for want of adherence to journal policy” button. Surely you would not want your prodigious effort to go waste just because you tried to save time by not filling those columns and requirement in the Title page section.

Most common things neglected are: –

  • Missing conflict of interest statement from each author
  • Missing IRB contact information (for studies involving humans)
  • Incomplete author information per the journal specific Instruction/Guidelines to Authors

These instructions/guidelines are easily accessible on the journal website.

So please “Read them, Follow them and Nail em”!

2. NO ABSTRACT

The abstract is like your business card. The editorial board will read it prior to going ahead with reviewing the rest of the manuscript. So you need to understand succinctly how the journal wants you to structure your Abstract. Every journal has a different format. Usually, the manuscript gets returned/rejected if the Abstract is missing in the Word file or not properly structured per the journals specifications (again, available easily on their website).

Read more to avoid getting your research paper rejected: Tips: How to Write an Abstract for your Scientific Article 

3. NO PAGE NUMBERS

Please, please do NOT forget to add page numbers in your manuscript. If you are using MS WORD follow this link to add page numbers, MAC users try this link. In fact, we would recommend that you format the page numbers when you start writing the paper.

4. POOR FORMATTING

Journal and editors are very finicky about formatting on the manuscript. We cannot blame them; they receive so many papers to review. They use simple filters to return the papers. A poorly formatted paper gets the boot. Usually, the rules for formatting are very simple but again are very journal specific. Try to follow these simple tricks when you write your paper

  • NO FANCY FONTS: Use font as specified by the Journal’s guidelines to the authors. Commonly preferred ones are Ariel or Times New Roman, but that is not restricted to that. So please check before you font!
  • SIZE MATTERS: Keep the font size uniform throughout the manuscript.  Usually, more than often it is 12. It could be different for the reference section.
  • SPACE IT: Use double spacing throughout the manuscript.

Do not forget to re-check your formatting before you hit the submit button. It will save you lot of time.

5. BAD START To ‘HOW YOU DID IT’

The methods section is one of the most important subdivisions of your manuscript. Think no further it HAS TO begin with your mention of an IRB approval and written patient consent statement. If not, well expect an early reply from the editorial board and not a good one at that too. Every research study needs to have an IRB approval (and be ready to furnish the same if asked by the editorial board). Inability to furnish this may lead to getting your research paper rejected outright.

6. WRONG REFERENCES

We understand that the References are the thorniest part of your manuscript. – e.g., using “et al” in place of listing every author, or inappropriate style per journal’s guidelines.  At Pub4Sure, we have a Reference wizard where you can format your references perfectly. It is always better to adhere to the journal’s guidelines when formatting your References and thereby not give the editorial board any reason to have your research paper rejected.

7. COPYRIGHT TRANSFER AGREEMENT (CTA)

A copyright transfer agreement is a legal document encompassing requirements for the transference of full or partial copyright from the authors to the editorial board of the journal. Permitting publishers the consent to copy, display and distribute your research/manuscript is essential for publishers to act as such, and copyright transfer agreements across a wide range of publishers have such necessities. Copyright transfer agreements also request that the authors authorize that they actually own the copyright for all the materials concerning to a given act of publishing and that the item for which the copyright to be transferred has not been formerly published and is not under consideration to be published elsewhere, to constrain the occurrence of duplicate publication and plagiarism.

CTA is usually available on the journal’s website that you chose to submit your article too, and hence can be downloaded from there easily. Please do not forget to upload that when you submit your manuscript.

We presume that these are the quintessential prerequisites that need to be fulfilled if you think we have left out any other requirements kindly share them with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your stories about why your research paper was rejected. 

Authors
Anurag Tewari MD 
Ajay Pal Singh (APtizer) 

GUIDE ON HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH ARTICLE

Also, read the following Articles that will help you write, organize and write an error-free manuscript that has high chances of getting accepted by the journal.

  1. TIPS ON WRITING A GOOD RESEARCH PAPER TITLE
  2. TIPS: HOW TO WRITE AN ABSTRACT FOR YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  3. TIPS TO WRITE THE INTRODUCTION FOR YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  4. HOW TO WRITE THE METHODS SECTION OF A RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  5. HOW TO DRAFT THE RESULTS SECTION OF YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  6. HOW TO WRITE THE DISCUSSION OF A RESEARCH ARTICLE?
  7. HOW TO WRITE REFERENCES IN YOUR RESEARCH ARTICLE
  8. HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE CASE REPORT FOR A JOURNAL?
  9. WHY PUBLISH YOUR SCIENTIFIC WORK IN A PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL?
  10. WHY IS YOUR RESEARCH PAPER REJECTED BY THE JOURNAL?

 

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3 Responses to Why is your research paper rejected by the journal?
  1. Very energetic post, I liked that bit. Will there be considered a part 2 where you could enlighten us as to how to get your research paper accepted in a journal? I mean what all should be done for success

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