Journal rejection, what to do?

Posted on December 3, 2009


Leigh Blackall just posted on The Academic Publishing scam. Leigh also made me aware of The Australian article Let the Internet replace journals. These are particular interests on Leigh’s but it also comes a couple of days after I have had a manuscript submitted to an academic journal rejected, the second rejection for this paper. After the initial frustration of the rejection I read through the Reviewer’s comments, some of which are fair, some of which I think were abit harsh and make me think they came from a completely different field.

I let me co-authors know the bad news and before too long, one of them sent me through this YouTube clip.

At least it makes you smile about it. A few days earlier I was talking to another author who stated that he had heard that for one particular journal (with a low to moderate impact factor) the journal accepted ~20% of the articles submitted. That is a tough success rate. This is no doubt a result of increasing numbers of academics around the world being placed into systems that reward, and sometimes punish based on publications. As the articles above point out, this is particularly frustrating when there is so much profiteering occuring. One particular journal in the Exercise and Sports Sciences I am well acquainted with charges for accepted pages, charges to subscribe of read the article, and is filled with an impressive amount of advertising.

A debate I have with Leigh however is how to quality assure if not through a journal as well as meet academic (employer) requirements. Online quality assurance, as through comments, number of hits or references to in other online communities in social media is heavily dependent on networks, and even then may not indicate the quality or not of the research. I don’t know the answer. At the moment I am at a bit of a cross-road with this particular research paper.

  • Do I just give up, and let it go? (some of the reviewers commented that the research adds to our understanding of the area).
  • Do I go for another journal, one I think will publish us such as suggested in the last part of the YouTube clip?
  • Do I just post the article, declaring its previous rejections, getting the support from co-authors, and dodging any copyright implications, to this blog?

I’ll think on it.

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