When you submit a research manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal or conference, you always want the best results and hope it might be approved right from the start. Sometimes that happens, other times it doesn’t. Unfortunately, there are also times when a research paper is actually rejected, and it’s important to know how to deal with the research paper rejection and what to do next. It can be challenging to encounter such a problem, but it’s important to know how to handle research paper rejection like a scientist and move on.
Why does paper gets rejected?
There are many different reasons why a research paper can end up being rejected. The first reason can be the overall approach and how you chose to create the research paper to begin with. It’s important to know the regulations and guidelines of the journal, the style of research paper they publish, topics and also their approach. Knowing that is a lot better and it will prevent rejections.
Sometimes editors reject a research paper mainly because the analytical approach is not very explicit, rigorous or argued properly. Either that, or the results are not that important or significant. The main idea here is that some research papers are rejected because the overall quality of the research paper is under the standards accepted by the journal. So in this case, they will end up rejecting the paper.
Even if the research paper does fulfill all the expectations, there’s also novelty and originality that comes into play. The truth is that you want your research paper to be original, to look interesting and to also convey as much value as possible. If the topic was already covered or you borrowed quite a bit of stuff from other research papers, then that’s not really ok and the editor will take notice. Which is why it makes a lot of sense to never copy anything when you write a research paper. Stick to researching properly, doing your due diligence, and making sure everything is original. This way, you limit any rejection risks.
How can you deal with the research paper’s rejection?
Your research paper got rejected – Don’t worry! You are not alone. Here are the few steps which you should follow to emotionally deal with research paper rejection.
- 1. Stay relaxed
It’s very easy to stress out and worry about what you need to do next. The truth is that many research papers get rejected. So it’s not something personal, nor is it happening only to you. Believe it or not, even the researchers that have a very high profile end up getting rejected.
So it’s definitely not only something happening to you. There are many other persons dealing with the same problem. At this point, the best thing you can do is to relax and understand it’s all a part of the process. You can always write a better research paper that will get approved. Which is why you want to use this as a learning experience.
- 2. Read the rejection letter carefully
It’s important to read the manuscript rejection letter carefully because it will tell you exactly what happened and why the research paper was rejected in the first place. The letter shows everything from comments to specific reasons. As we mentioned above, it’s important to read these things as you will have a much better understanding why the paper was rejected and what are the next steps. It’s a crucial thing to keep in mind, and the benefits can indeed be among some of the best on the market.
- 3. Take your time
It’s extremely important to take your time and read the rejection letter, then you can start gathering your thoughts. You can address all the reviewers comments and improve the manuscript. As always, the more you work on it, the better the end result will be. This is a great opportunity to improve the research paper and make it the best that it can be, which is exactly what you want to pursue.
- 4. Resubmission
Maybe the rejection arrived because you submitted to the wrong journal. That’s why it can be a good idea to try and submit to a journal or even a conference that matches the scope of that paper. It’s important to do this because it makes things better and you will most likely find a much better result if you use such an approach.
Getting your research paper rejected might hurt at first, but you can take this as a learning experience. Study the comments, see what can be improved, and you will be impressed with how much you can learn. There’s a lot you can learn from failure, so you shouldn’t be defeated here. It’s just a way to improve and further expand your research paper. Or as we said, maybe this journal was not the right choice, you can always address the comments anyway and republish on another journal!