Q: How do I enhance a rejected paper?

Detailed Question -

My paper has been rejected. I guess it was mainly for poor writing skills (unnoticed errors). I had used a normal method with some novelty. How should I improve the paper?

1 Answer to this question

Sorry to hear that your paper has been rejected. However, you seem to be handling the disappointment pretty well, as you are already thinking of how to improve it. That’s a great sign. It helps to be resilient as a researcher. :-)

Coming to your query, based on the information you have provided, it’s not entirely easy to determine what the issue could be. Of course, it could also be a combination of issues. You say that it was because of “poor writing skills,” but add that it was probably due to “unnoticed errors.” Then, you say that you “used a normal method with some novelty,” which suggests that your method (and perhaps your research/question too) wasn’t novel, but you tried to bring in some novelty, perhaps through some modification in the method and then maybe in the analysis.

  • If it’s due to the writing, you would need to identify which parts need improvement.
  • If it’s due to unnoticed errors, that suggests that you need to a careful check before submission.
  • If it’s due to the actual research question, you may need to revise/revisit your research from the research question stage, beginning with a question or problem that is novel to begin with.

There are various things that can help you with these various aspects. We have suggested a few at the end of this response, along with any relevant service of ours that could be of help. Based on the exact problem identified, you may figure out how to proceed. Apart from that, the rejection mail by the journal editor may offer some clues. If not, perhaps you could write to them to know what could have been better, although they are not likely to respond (at least not very soon).

One final thing we can suggest, because it’s not entirely clear where the issue(s) could lie, is to upload the manuscript on our R Pubsure platform. On the AI-powered platform, through its various machine checks, you get a report showing how ready your manuscript is and in which areas it possibly needs improvement. It does this for multiple parameters that journal teams also look for. The platform helps you improve your manuscript in these areas until it is submission-ready. Then, it also has a journal recommender feature you can use to identify relevant journals for submission. Thus, as you can see, R Pubsure is geared to help you minimize/avoid desk rejection. There is a component of it that is absolutely free. So, you could start with it. Find out more here: R Pubsure

As for the other resources and services we promised, here they are:

Improving writing:

Checking for errors:

Finding the right/novel research question:

Hope this helps. All the best for turning around this paper – and/or taking up the next one!