Q: What process is followed by a journal after an appeal against rejection?

Detailed Question -

My manuscript was recently rejected. However, I felt that my results had been misinterpreted, and so I appealed against the decision. After a few months, the Editor asked me to resubmit the manuscript as a new submission. The status was updated as: Editor assigned > Editor invited > Editor rejected invitation. What does all these status mean? Will my manuscript be accepted or rejected? Thank you.

1 Answer to this question

Most journals have a clear process for dealing with appeals against editorial decisions. The author usually appeals by sending an email to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC), explaining why he or she disagrees with the editorial decision. The EIC reviews the manuscript, editorial and peer reviewer comments and gives his or her decision. At this stage, the EIC might assign the manuscript to a new handling editor and new reviewers if required. This is probably what is being done in your case. That is why you have been asked to resubmit your paper as a new submission.

The status changes possibly mean that the Chief Editor assigned someone to be the new handling editor for your paper and sent out an invitation to him, but the person refused. This is nothing to worry about. Possibly, this editor already has his hands full with other papers or he might be planning to take leave.

I’m sure the Chief Editor will now assign the paper to some other handling editor. Once the handling editor is satisfied with the initial screening, your paper will be sent to a new set of reviewers. Thus, your paper will go through the whole editorial decision making process once again. There is no way to tell whether your paper will be accepted or rejected. However, the EIC must have seen some merit in your appeal, and so decided to have another round of editorial decision making for your paper.

Good luck!