Every researcher faces the risk of rejection of their manuscript by a journal. However, research data are valuable and should be published. You may think that the rejection decision is not justified on the grounds that an erroneous evaluation has been made and make a request for reevaluation with comments. You can also resubmit your manuscript to the relevant journal after completing the required revisions or try your luck again with another journal.

Scientific publication is a time-consuming process. Manuscripts are written, revised, and linguistically checked several times. The corresponding author collects information from coauthors, other academics, and reviewers. In fact, the relevant final text, which has been carefully created in this way, should be shared with others as soon as possible. However, the findings show that 21% of manuscripts are rejected without review, and approximately 40% are rejected after peer-review.

Rejection of a manuscript is inevitable, even for Nobel laureate researchers, but in such cases, researchers should focus on other options available to them after being rejected rather than on avoidance of being rejected. Every author has several options when their manuscript is rejected by a journal. As specified above, sometimes manuscripts are rejected without even being reviewed. Under these circumstances, it should be remembered that time is of the essence and therefore, you should without delay start looking for another journal suitable for your study to continue the process. If you have the reviewed version of your manuscript, you should not disregard its value. Even if the journal to which you submitted your manuscript won’t publish it, you now have ideas about ways to strengthen your manuscript. You can consider the following options in the case of rejection of your manuscript:

You can object to the rejection decision

Every journal should have a policy on objection to editor decisions. As an author, you have the right to object to the rejection decision, but it is important to object on the grounds of logic, instead of emotion. If indeed a rejection response has been issued due to a misunderstanding or mistake by the reviewer of the journal in question, then you should briefly state your thoughts to the editor without being condescending or argumentative. However, appeals to the scope of the journal or the perceived impact of your study are unlikely to succeed.

You can resubmit your manuscript to the same journal

While the journal to which you submitted your manuscript may reject it at first, it is not uncommon for the journal to suggest that you resubmit it after you address the points specified by the reviewers. If you really want to publish your manuscript in the relevant journal, this should be your first option. Some journals may also state that they will not consider accepting any future versions of your manuscript. In this case, you should respect to this decision and try submitting your manuscript to another journal.

You can submit your manuscript to another journal after doing revisions

This option is more commonly practiced than that of the others. Carefully consider the comments you received from the reviewers, try to improve your manuscript accordingly, and then submit your manuscript to another journal. Before resubmitting your manuscript, be sure you revised the cover letter, the format of the references, and other details accordingly to meet the criteria for the new journal.

You can submit your manuscript to another journal without doing any revisions

Although it is not always a good idea, you can also consider this option. However, by not accepting any of the changes suggested by the reviewers in the first journal, you ignore all the effort and time spent in the initial peer-review process. Some of these suggestions may be invalid, but some may serve to improve your manuscript. It is likely that the new reviewers address some of the same issues as those touched upon by the first journal, allowing you the opportunity to deal with these issues in advance. On the other hand, keep in mind that your manuscript may also be reviewed in the new journal by some of the previous reviewers. In this case, if you had not made any of the recommended revisions in the manuscript, the suggestions of the relevant reviewers may not change.

You can archive your manuscript and never resubmit

Although it is a simple option, it may not always be the best solution for researchers because your data may help another researcher complete a missing piece of a puzzle or block paths in research that lead to no conclusions. Alternatively, you can submit your manuscript to a free website, such as figshare or Dryad, that allows your article to be cited.

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