Reasons for Manuscript Rejection at Internal and Peer-review Stages

Souhail Adib, Vahid Nimehchisalem


The noble aim of publishing an article is to drive the wheel of scientific research forward; pragmatically speaking, though, and that is the case of many authors, a publication is a set criterion for their graduation or promotion. When publishing an article is mentioned, authors tend to contemplate rejection. Some fear rejection to the point of refraining from drafting the manuscript. To identify the most common reasons why submissions are rejected, internally by the journal editors (also referred to as preview or screening stage), and externally by the blind reviewers, we analysed the preview and review comments of 100 rejected submissions to the International Journal of Education and literacy Studies (IJELS) in the period between 2018 and 2020. The results of inductive thematic analysis indicated that the main reasons why submissions were rejected at the preview stage were problems with originality, poor language, scope, format, and organization. At the review stage, the main reasons were methodology, organization, language, insignificance, and literature review. Additionally, other less common reasons why manuscripts were rejected were that they lacked clear and conventional result reports, in-depth discussions, and thick conclusions, relevant, current, and impactful references among others to be discussed in this article. Many of these issues are, of course, fixable and future authors are highly encouraged to go through this paper and treat it as a guideline that will improve the quality of their manuscripts, and therefore, they will stand higher chances of acceptance.


Manuscript Submission Guidelines, Publication, Reasons, Rejection, Revie

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