A profile picture of Zoran Dinev, freelance scientific editor
Dr. Zoran Dinev 3 minute read
June 1, 2019

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Seventy percent (70%) of all papers submitted to a high impact academic journal get rejected without peer-review.


That means only 30% of papers get sent for peer review, and we know that the majority of these don’t get accepted either. In fact, the overall acceptance rate by some journals is less than 5%. These are very rough estimates from my experience at a relatively high impact journal (impact factor of approximately 10). And these numbers probably vary considerably depending on the journal and the discipline.

But what do these numbers mean for you as an academic trying to publish and get feedback about your research? If you were lucky enough to have your paper peer reviewed, at least you have some detailed feedback and what you need to do to improve your paper before you resubmit it. But what about the other 70%? The reasons given by the handling editor are usually vague and generalised.

We now provide a free service to tell you why your paper has been rejected without peer review. Our editors will check your paper for these 5 key reasons why your paper might have been rejected by an editor before sending it to an expert peer reviewer for assessment.

  1. Technical requirements
    Does your paper meet the technical requirements of the journal: Words, figures, other length limits, type of paper, formatting, spelling, required sections?
  2. Readability
    Is your manuscript comprehensible? Are the language, structure and figures clear and easy to understand.
  3. Scope of the journal
    Does your paper fit within the scope of your target journal? Have you chosen the right target audience? Is your article more suitable for a specialised journal? What does this even mean?
  4. Novelty or impact
    Does your paper introduce new work or is it an extension of a different paper? Have you made this clear in the cover letter, introduction and conclusion?
  5. Completeness
    Is your study finished? Do you need to provide more results? Does it leave too many open questions?

We check for all of these things in our manuscript health check service so that you know what to improve before you submit your paper, but if your paper has already been rejected and you are not sure why, contact us and ask us for help.

Alternatively, our acceptance concierge service will take care of everything until your paper is accepted.

At The Science Editorium we have a holistic approach to improve your manuscript and help you publish your manuscript.