Why are your journal articles rejected?

Why are your journal articles rejected?

Have you ever had the experience of articles sent to a journal, after waiting so long it was rejected? Mixed feelings echo – anger, heartache, no appetite, discouragement blending into one. For budding writers, the word rejection from the journal’s editorial board and reviewers  is a frightening scourge. But it is also often faced by experienced writers. The difference only lies in the psychological readiness of the author when the article that has been prepared carefully is finally rejected. 

For budding writers, rejection often discourages writing. Imagine the energy of the mind, energy and time poured out to write scientific articles, it turns out that the reward obtained is only the word “your article is rejected” or “your article needs major revision“. However, for experienced writers, article rejection is considered as commonplace. Blasting is considered  a learning opportunity for article perfection in the future.

The question is, why is a journal article rejected? There are at least eight reasons why articles are rejected by the editor or reviewer of a particular journal:

First, the article failed to meet the technical requirements.  Either beginner or experienced writers often ignore the technical requirements so that articles can be published in the intended journal. The main reasons the editor or reviewer of  the journal rejected articles related to various technical aspects, including: 1) articles contained some elements suspected of plagiarism; 2) the manuscript of articles received by the editor of a journal is suspected to be being reviewed by other journals; 3) incomplete articles (not according to journal templates); 4)  Articles are written in bad language; and 5) the literature of  the article is incomplete or very outdated.

Second, the article is not in accordance with the purpose (aims) and scope of the journal.  Journal editors reject an article because the substance of the article is not in accordance with the field of journal study. Beginner writers often submit articles to the wrong journal. For example, articles with management substance are sent to journals that are not devoted to management studies. Or article review related to management, but the focus of the article turned out to be different (not management).

Third, articles are not comprehensive.  Editors will reject articles that only feature observations that are not in-depth studies. That is, the article only displays descriptive data without analyzing in depth. Remember, the depth of the review of an article becomes a serious consideration of the board of editors and reviewers. Sometimes editors and reviewers reject articles because they only present some findings in relation to some work but ignore other important work. This is why the article should discuss the findings thoroughly.

Fourth, the data and/or analysis of the data appears to be flawed.  Journal editors and reviewers often assess the procedures and methods of data analysis presented in the article. Rejection in this section is more due to studies less clearly describing control groups or comparison sizes, especially in experimental studies. In addition, editors and reviewers will reject articles whose procedures and methodologies are not appropriate so that no repetition can be done. Editors and reviewers will also reject articles when static analysis is invalid or does not follow the applicable rules in accordance with the discipline.

Fifth, conclusions cannot be justified based on other parts of the article.  Rejection occurs when arguments arranged in articles are illogical, unstructured and invalid. Conclusions should answer the problem formula. Editors and reviewers will reject articles that expose data but do not support conclusions. In addition, conclusions often ignore most literature.

Sixth, the article is just a small extension of other articles, even from the same author.  Editors love a full article. Articles that contain only additional findings and no scientific update will obviously be rejected. In addition, editors don’t like studies that are part of larger studies. Or to say, just chop up it to create as many articles as possible.  Cases like this are found in many articles of dissertation results. Doctoral students are faced with the obligation of completing studies that require them to publish a minimum of 2 or 3 articles in reputable international journals, often writing articles by cutting the dissertation section (not intact).

Seventh, articles are difficult to understand.  Assessment will be difficult for editors and reviewers when an article is written in very bad language, sentence structure, or numbers. This applies to journals either in Indonesian or English. Novice writers are often ignorant of the standard language that applies in scientific works.  Remember writing articles for the sake of journals is certainly different from opinion articles for the mass media.

Eighth, the article is boring.  Reputable  journal editors and reviewers certainly receive and select hundreds or even thousands of articles in a given period. They are certainly able to detect which articles are just archives, additional or even not in demand in scientific disciplines. They will also reject articles that do not have novelty in a particular scientific discipline. Another reason for the outing, the work is not in demand by special readers in the journal.

In closing, it is wise before submitting an article to the target journal check carefully whether the eight reasons for rejection above are attached to the article you wrote. In the end, no matter what the reason for the rejection of your article, make it as a trigger for the spirit to improve it, not break the spirit to continue working.

Nurturing knowledge for academic life

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