Q: Does the notification I received mean it's a desk rejection - or not?

Detailed Question -

I received a mail about five hours after submission stating: It is a pleasure to inform you that your manuscript titled XYZ has passed initial screening and is now awaiting reviewer selection. Does it mean the paper has been sent for peer review or is it still eligible for desk rejection? Please advise.

2 Answers to this question

Your paper has now been sent to potential reviewers, if one or two accept the invitation, the status will change to under review. Relax, no chance for desk rejection this time unless the journal couldn't find the reviewers to review your paper.


Hi Arpan – welcome back to the forum! Before we dive into this question, it would be great to know how your earlier submission worked out. It would be great to share, either here or there.

Coming to your query, it’s interesting that you received a mail so soon after submission. As the mail states, the manuscript has cleared the initial administrative check, for aspects such as adherence to journal guidelines, basic quality of the science, and match with the journal’s scope. Which is why it has been considered for peer review. The journal is presently looking for suitable peer reviewers for your paper, which you would come to know either through the next mail or by visiting your page on the site. So, quite simply, no, not a desk reject. :-)

There is just one thing though. Most journals take a minimum of a few days after submission to send for peer review. As this has moved to peer review so quickly after submission, and without doubting the quality of the manuscript, it may not hurt to go through the site information in some detail to assess the quality of the journal, that is, to determine whether or not it’s a predatory journal. You may use this checklist as an aid: 10 Point checklist to identify predatory publishers

If the journal seems legitimate indeed, you have nothing to worry about, and need to simply wait for the next mail or status change.

Until then, you may find it useful to go through the following related resources: