Q: Can I appeal against the rejection of my paper?
After submitting my paper on 30thApr 2015, I have received the final result - rejection - on 2nd May 2016, more than one year later. On going through the decision letter, I found that it doesn’t seem like there were any critical issues with the manuscript and all of the problem areas seem to have been revised already. So I would like to send another email to the journal asking why I got a rejection and not even a “revise and resubmit” decision. Are there any chances of the final decision being reversed if I appeal against it?
While authors have the freedom to appeal against the editorial decision, the final decision is generally not changed. Most authors feel that their paper is of very good quality as they have put in their best efforts into it. However, the reviewers and editors who have evaluated your paper are experts in the field and they would definitely be able to judge better and more objectively. Further, each journal has its own standards: thus, a paper that might be rejected by a high end journal even after several rounds of revision may be accepted in a lower impact factor journal. Thus you should carefully consider whether you want to appeal against the journal’s decision.
However, if you strongly disagree with the editorial decision, you can go ahead and appeal against it. Usually, appeals against the editorial decision are made to the editorial board. You can write to the editorial board, explaining you disagree with the editorial decision and giving a point-by-point argument against the editor’s views. Make sure that your arguments are backed by solid evidence. Also, remember to be very polite and objective in your communication and not use accusatory or emotional language.