I have submitted a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal two months ago. It is my first submission. I have noticed two unfortunate elements in my introduction:

  1. I wrote the same sentence twice in my introduction.

  2. In one of the sentences, I have repeated the same word twice consecutively.

I think these mistakes came up with copying and pasting when I was trying to adjust my paragraphs in the introduction. Otherwise, I have already made grammar and spell check for the rest of the paper. Also, I am sure that the introduction is clearly written.

My question is that: can this kind of mistake (I think it is a minor mistake) cause a rejection by referees ? (The paper did not get a desk rejection, it is under review.) I will be really happy if you can share your experience regarding this kind of mistakes during the review process.

  • I think this question would receive more attention if it were phrased more broadly, e.g. what to do if I discovered a typo in a paper that I submitted for review? – henning Dec 17 '17 at 10:56
  • You will be happy if those will be the only remarks. A serious referees will ask you to correct WHILE specifying to the editors that the paper is basically accepted AS IT IS, independent of the multiple choice grid that journala propose in their online reviewing pages. – Alchimista Dec 17 '17 at 14:30

Regarding the repeated words, most people would not notice the the repetition at all. Regarding the sentence, they might be confused for a second, check back, see it's written twice, and continue as if nothing had happened.

Most will add a short note to the review, among those of other typos, that the sentence "..." appears twice. Nothing to be worried about, this alone will never cause a rejection of even major revision.

  • 6
    I noted "the the repetition". ;) – The Doctor Dec 17 '17 at 12:31
  • 5
    caught me though :) – omerbp Dec 17 '17 at 14:58
  • 1
    He got me :( Great reply! – Cloud Chem Dec 20 '17 at 5:33

I would not worry too much in your place. Reviewers do not like non-proofed papers and it indeed can irritate them. To some extent, this might be because for English-native reader the non-proofed text might be not clear enough. But this is not your case. A repeated word there are high chances that no one will notice. The repeated sentence will be likely noticed, but it is clear that this was a silly technical one-time error. Had it happened several times in the paper, it could be considered as an author reckless. But this is not your case. I think you will get a minor point in revision for this. Obviously, no need to write the editor - the paper is already went to review. What you expect from the editor to do? In best case, the editor will understand the error is just sort of a typo, and will politely answer that this is OK this way. In worse case, he/she will cancel the review thinking that the matter is really serious, but you will likely not go to review the second time. So, just wait and hope for good. Good Luck!

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