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  • Jennifer Head

Top 10 Reasons That Manuscripts Are Rejected

How to increase your chances of successful publication


Top 10 hurdles to publication success

  1. Lack of novelty or originality (or poor elucidation of significance).

  2. Incompleteness (i.e., the manuscript is missing essential elements).

  3. Poor presentation (i.e., poor writing and/or language issues, failure to adhere to journal guidelines, lack of focus, figures are not clear or are inadequate, poor presentation of methodology and/or results).

  4. Outside the aims and scope of the journal

  5. Design flaws (i.e., low sample size, improper study design, lack of control groups).

  6. Measurement errors.

  7. Errors in data analysis (i.e., improper statistical analyses).

  8. Inadequate Discussion (i.e., important work in the field has been ignored, the Discussion does not provide novel insights).

  9. Conclusions are not justified (i.e., the conclusions are not supported by the data; the arguments are poorly structured, illogical, or invalid; the conclusions ignore current literature).

  10. Ethical concerns (i.e., plagiarism, the paper is in consideration by another journal, lack of informed consent, bias).


Fast track your paper to publication by hiring a developmental editor


High rejection rates, coupled with the ubiquity and frequency of manuscript flaws, underscore the importance of skilled developmental editors in the publication process. Developmental editing is a substantive type of editing that goes beyond basic language editing to provide constructive and critical feedback on aspects such as overall focus, clarity, organization, the presentation of the main argument, logical flow, and potential shortcomings or inconsistencies. In short, a skilled developmental editor 1) works with the author to resolve the aforementioned ‘non-fatal’ reasons for rejection and 2) flags inherent (i.e., ‘fatal’) design flaws prior to submission or resubmission, ultimately paving the way to successful publication.





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