The 10 most frequent causes of dismissal of a manuscript

Posted on November 4th, 2019 by Ángel Hernando Gómez

Author: Ángel Hernando Gómez – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

revisandoWhen we send an article to a journal to try to get it published to us, the first filter that has to go through, before being placed or not in peer evaluation, is the “editing review” that is done by the editors of the journal. A high percentage of the manuscripts sent to scientific journals of impact do not pass this first review and are dismissed for a number of causes, most of them avoidable, among which are:


1.“Norms, norms, norms”. Although the guidelines for authors of specific quality journals, in detail, the norms that the authors must follow if they intend to publish in them, we find that a high percentage ignores them when respecting the indicated structure by the journal, anonymize the manuscript, follow the marked extension, the number of keywords and references, the way of citing, etc. Since we want to publish in that journal and our manuscript will be reviewed, in many cases for free, by several specialists in the field, you must follow, one hundred percent, the rules for authors if we want the editors to send our manuscript to the reviewers.

2. “Plagiarism.” The editors review the articles that correspond to them with a professional anti-plagiarism program and many are dismissed for the percentage of plagiarism they have. Do not assume that all journals will have a quantitative and qualitative reading of the percentage of plagiarism and / or autoplagiarism that your manuscript will have (many do not) and, to avoid surprises, it is advisable to pass a plagiarism detection program before sending the article to the journal.

3. “Bad journal selection”. Our article can be very good, but it has to “fit” in the magazine in which we intend to publish it, so when selecting it we have to take into account, among other aspects, its thematic line, the existence of monographs or not, its focus, periodicity and manuscript number by number, its acceptance / rejection percentage, etc. If we do not take these aspects into account, our work will be dismissed.

4. “Do not carry out the Discussion”. We find that a good number of articles that want to be evaluated do not make this basic section in scientific writing (we already talked about it in another entry of this School of authors of its importance) and, in many occasions, they confuse it with the Conclusion.

5. “Duplicate, triple the information”. Scientific writing is characterized by its accuracy, clarity and brevity. It is a way of writing where ideas are presented in an orderly, concise and fluid manner and, nevertheless, we find on numerous occasions that an idea described in straight text, then is presented again in a table and, in addition, A third time in a figure.

6. “Incorrect bibliographic search, bad establishment of the state of art -“ It is rather important to mention the great importance that publishers give to this section, if you want to publish in scientific journals of excellence and great impact, define the state of the art of your subject by an exhaustive search in the main databases where they are indexed (SCOPUS and WOS)

7. “Method poorly selected / performed”. The Method section of our manuscript is thoroughly reviewed by quality journals (many of them have methodological reviewers only for this section) so in addition to selecting journals that publish articles in accordance with our methodological line, pay special attention to the elaboration of the Method.

8. “Number of unsubstantiated authors”. In the author regulations, the maximum number of researchers who can sign an article is usually specified, if yours exceeds it and does not want it to be dismissed, do not forget to base the reason for that number on the cover letter.

9.  “Use of an English -not professional-. In the scientific journals of impact work professional translators who detect the quality of our translations (of the metadata or of the entire article if required), so if your English is not excellent and you do not want your work to be dismissed, hire to a professional translator

10. “Lack of attached documents”. The journals specify a series of documents that must be uploaded, in addition to the anonymous manuscript. The number and class of these documents varies depending on the journal (Title page, Cover letter, Highlight, declaration of interest, etc.) and article management platforms do not allow us to complete the process if they are not included, but in case and if you do not want to be dismissed, provide all the documents requested.

Taking into account these ten possible causes of dismissal will not guarantee that your article after the review will be published / rejected but it will certainly help your article not be dismissed, pass the filter of the “edit review” and be reviewed by pairs.

About Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Erika Lucía González Carrión nació en Loja-Ecuador el 29 de marzo de 1994. Posee una licenciatura en Comunicación Social por la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) y además una licenciatura en Ciencias de la Educación con mención en Idioma Inglés por la Universidad Nacional de Loja (UNL). En la actulidad cursa el Máster Internacional en Comunicación y Educación Audiovisual, promovido por la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía y la Universidad de Huelva. Además, cuenta con una certificación internacional de conocimiento del Idioma Inglés, dentro del Marco Común Europeo de las Lenguas. Dentro del ámbito de la Comunicación Social investiga el área radiofónica y realiza traducciones de artículos científicos. Erika Lucía González Carrión was born in Loja-Ecuador on March 29th, 1994. She got her bachelor’s degree in Social Communication at Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) and additionally she got a bachelor’s degree in Sciences of Education, English Language Specialization at Universidad Nacional de Loja (UNL). Nowadays she is studying the Master degree in Communication and Audiovisual Education, promoted by the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía and the Universidad de Huelva . Moreover, she has an international certification of knowledge in the English Language, within the Common European Framework of the Languages. In the Social Communication field she investigates the radio and makes translations of scientific articles.
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