What to do after Paper Rejection

Scientific publication is a continuous process. Several draughts of a manuscript are written, revised, and edited. The authors solicit feedback from collaborators, colleagues, and peer reviewers.

It is good to use the CACHE method.

  • Cooldown
  • Analyse the letter
  • Consider options
  • HEad on

Your paper is not dead; rather, it is on hold or in your cache, waiting to be repurposed! But you have a lot of decisions to make right now.

Resubmit a revised manuscript to the same journal

If you have improved your paper and addressed the flaws that led to its rejection, you may resubmit it to the same journal. It will be treated as a new paper and must go through peer review. Editors may dissuade authors from resubmitting to them if they believe the manuscript is inappropriate for the journal.

Publish your work in another medium

The review process with the journal has probably raised the prospect that your paper is not fit for journal publication at all or that doing so would necessitate so much further effort (which you may be unable or unwilling to devote), so look for another publishing option. 

Send a revised manuscript to a different journal.

If you believe that the publication that rejected your manuscript was not the right fit in the first place, consider submitting your article to a different journal. In any case, make an effort to respond to the reviewer’s comments as thoroughly as possible. It is possible that, although you have submitted to a new journal, one of the reviewers chosen by the new journal has previously reviewed your article on behalf of the original publication that rejected you.

Consider discarding the manuscript. 

If you believe your work was insufficient to be presented to other researchers, or if you no longer work in the field of the paper and do not feel competent in bringing the paper to a publishable level. One certain alternative is to perform additional research on the paper’s topic and then consider creating a new paper. We do not propose giving up and abandoning the paper.

Submit the unaltered paper to a different journal

If you want to publish in a specific journal and the editor has indicated that they will accept your manuscript with revision, this is likely your best option. If you believe that the work you submitted was fine in theory but that you could not address all of the reviewers’ concerns, you should consider submitting it to a different journal. Suppose you believe that the journal’s editorial or peer-review procedure does not meet international or ethical standards. In that case, you can file an official appeal with the journal, the advisory board or protest the decision to the editor.

Conclusion

Even if your preferred journal rejected your paper, this is usually not the end of the road for your paper. You still have a lot of choices for getting it published and read by an audience. We are not attempting to argue that everyone must be rejected as if it were a natural part of the scientific process! However, it is not the end of the world or even your paper if this occurs.