Q: To which journal should I submit a paper that has been rejected every time so far?

Detailed Question -

I have several times submitted an NKCHA_4_4 paper that I worked on, but it has been rejected each time. I am not sure to which journal I should submit again. I think it might be better to submit to an educational journal rather than a nursing journal, as the former tends to accept papers in various areas. I am now very exhausted by all the editing and formatting necessary by various journals’ guidelines.

1 Answer to this question

It’s unfortunate to know that your paper has been rejected several times. Manuscript rejection, whether at the desk or after a peer review, can be disappointing and frustrating, especially if there is a dependency on your academic or career growth. Your fatigue after so many instances of editing and formatting is also understandable. However, despite all the adverse outcomes so far, you are still keen, or at least hopeful, to have your paper eventually published, and that’s a sign of immense academic resilience. So, kudos for that!

Coming to your query, there are several aspects to it, and several things you could do. So, let’s discuss them one by one.

Selecting the right journal

As you have mentioned, it might be a better idea now to submit your paper to an educational journal rather than a nursing journal, after having received a rejection each time from the latter. Additionally, you could consider a multidisciplinary journal in the fields of healthcare, medicine, or something related. To identify suitable journals, you may refer to this resource: How to choose journals for submitting your paper

Sending a presubmission inquiry

In case you haven’t done so far, you could send a presubmission inquiry to a new target journal. A presubmission inquiry can help in various ways. It could help confirm whether the identified journal would indeed be suitable for your paper, thus also helping you avoid the effort and frustration of editing and formatting a paper that may eventually be rejected. In case there’s a scope mismatch or the journal is not likely to accept your paper, the editor may at times refer you to a sister (affiliated) journal from the same publisher. Here’s a resource to help you write an appropriate presubmission inquiry: How to write a presubmission inquiry: Dos and don'ts

Availing of Editage services

If needed, you may utilize several of our services that can help improve the chances of your paper being accepted.

  • Manuscript editing: This is our scientific editing service that ensures your paper is reviewed and edited by a subject matter expert from a relevant domain.
  • Journal selection: This will provide you a shortlist of 3-5 journals along with a report of the pros and cons of submitting to each journal. This will help you make an informed decision and also avoid undue rejection.
  • PubSure: This is a new platform that performs an AI-powered check on your manuscript, enabling it to be submission-ready. Additionally, the platform allows you to showcase your improved manuscript to several external journal editors, who if interested may consider it for review and publication. PubSure thus aims to help you minimize desk rejection.

Taking a break

While you may try any or all of the options suggested above, sometimes, it helps to take a break. Doing so could help you reduce and/or deal with the frustration you are presently feeling. It will also help you come back refreshed. Once you have renewed vigor, you may decide to revisit your manuscript with ‘a fresh mind and eyes,’ allowing you to enhance it as necessary to be submitted and hopefully accepted with a new journal. Here is a similar suggestion we made it to another researcher, who was facing a challenge diametrically opposite to yours – of getting started on the manuscript: How do I organize my thoughts and begin writing for my multidisciplinary research?

Taking heart

You may also take solace and inspiration from other researchers who have been in a similar position and shared their thoughts with us. Here are a few such responses and stories.

Hope that helps. All the best – and keep the faith.