Q: What should I do to identify a suitable journal to take my manuscript toward acceptance?

Detailed Question -

I have submitted my manuscript several times, and but it has been rejected each time. So, I am [still] looking for a journal. However, I’m not sure how to identify and select a journal that matches the content/topic of my manuscript. What should I do to find a suitable journal and take my manuscript to acceptance?

1 Answer to this question

Sorry to hear that your manuscript has been rejected so far. Actually, there are many reasons why a manuscript may be rejected, both soon after submission and after peer review. Reasons may vary from mismatch with the journal’s aims and focus (as it seems to be in your case) to lack of novelty to language issues or sometimes simply due to space issues (if it’s a physical journal). You may learn more about these factors here: Most common reasons for journal rejection

To answer your query, there are actually several things you can do, provided of course your article has novelty and quality. (If not, we shall later discuss how to improve it in these aspects as well.)

To ensure your manuscript matches the journal’s scope, you need to carefully go through the page or section on the journal site called Aims and Focus, Scope, or something similar. This will give you a good idea whether or not your paper fits with the papers the journal publishes.

If you are still not sure, or to be doubly sure, you can write to the editor (at the email provided on the journal site) to check whether there is a match. This can save you precious time and effort, because submitting to various journals (including following each journal’s guidelines) can take up a lot of your energy. You can write what is known as a presubmission inquiry to the journal. To know more about this, you may refer to this piece: How to write a presubmission inquiry

One common reason for desk rejection (apart from scope mismatch), is non-adherence to the journal guidelines. To avoid this, before submitting, you can run your manuscript through a presubmission check. The check identifies the issues in your manuscript for various aspects (such as language, declarations, and plagiarism), providing you a report for this. Based on the report, you can improve your manuscript before submission to increase its chances of clearing the desk screening. A tool that can help you do this is R Pubsure, a AI-powered manuscript assessment check from a family brand. You may learn more about R Pubsure here and view a sample report here.

Now, in case your manuscript is not progressing due to quality and presentation issues such as writing, flow, structure, or even some key aspects of research, these can be improved through editing. There’s a range of editing improvements you can make to your manuscript, from simple language enhancements to more complex technical (scientific) improvements of your paper. We offer a range of editing services for this. You may learn about them here: Editage Editing Services

Finally, if you try all these options and your manuscript still doesn’t go through, you may have to take an honest look at your paper and assess whether you should continue pursuing the publication of this paper or rather move to another topic/paper that would have more of the attributes that would enable it to be accepted/published. Alternatively, you could simply take a break and then come back and see the same paper ‘with fresh eyes.’ See what works for you. :)

Apart from the above, with an aim to improve your spirits more immediately, here’s a free resource on ways to avoid manuscript rejection: Tips to avoid journal rejection [Free e-book]

Hope all that helps. And hope you soon find success – be it with this paper or a new one! Keep the faith!