Two months ago, I submitted a paper to a journal. Within two weeks, editor in chief gave me: "Invitation to Revise". He himself read the manuscript and provides some comments.

I worked on his comments during the past two months. Today I finished the revision and submitted the revised version of the manuscript in the journal submission system. Eight minutes later, editor-in-chief emailed me that the paper did not accept, please see the comments to the editors and reviewers at the end of email.

There were two lines of comments, telling me could you please submit the manuscript to our new special issue, with a link.

When I look at the web page of their special issue, I found out that their special issue submission, will start some month later and its deadlines are much later. I don't have so much time, to wait for this.

What can I do? Is it useful to email to EIC?

When I don't have the right to submit the manuscript to two journals at the same time, what prevents EIC and editors from acting unethically? Especially, when they have all the powers? EDIT: In response to comments, the question is:

Is there anywhere to complain about the behaviors of editors of journals except themselves?

closed as unclear what you're asking by cag51, Enthusiastic Engineer, Jon Custer, Azor Ahai, corey979 Feb 10 at 13:35

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    This is an interesting situation, but your last paragraph is unclear. Can you clarify what do you mean? – corey979 Feb 9 at 21:47
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    What can I do? — Decline the invitation and submit your paper elsewhere. They’ve rejected your paper, so there is no conflict. – JeffE Feb 9 at 21:57
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    I'm not clear on why you feel they acted unethically...IIUC, they rejected your paper but invited you to submit to a "special issue" instead, which was due much later...your options are to submit to that or to submit elsewhere... – cag51 Feb 9 at 22:43
  • @cag51, I have worked to make the paper ready to be sent to reviewers based on the EIC comments. He must tell either you didn't perform what I want or send it to the review. Not to tell me to submit to a special issue. – user85361 Feb 10 at 12:58
  • @corey979, I mean is there anywhere that author can complain about the unetithcal behaviour of editors of journals? – user85361 Feb 10 at 13:01

It's probably just supply and demand. Your paper isn't good enough to make it into the regular editions, but he is going to lower the bar a bit to fill out the special issue.

I have seen this. It's not nefarious. In a way the regular/special difference is like the difference of journals with different importance, exclusivity.

In terms of what you should do: I would lean to moving on to another journal. And upgrade the paper based on the reviews. Now, if the editor could tell you the paper was good to go (for the special), that is different. But it sounds like this is not the case or else he would have just told you that at the time. Being invited to enter another uncertain outcome of his would not interest me. Yeah, you will have new competition at new journal, but at least you are moving on. How I would prefer it.

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    In my opinion is not normal because the invitation to edit review the ms was from the journal, not the special issue. Though this doesn't warrant publication (it depends much on the wordings) and a paper is accepted only when it comes to be, it seems that the editor pushes to fill in the special issue. ... – Alchimista Feb 10 at 11:51

Usually, papers submitted to a special issue are promptly published online. They may not receive an issue number until some time later, when the issue is complete. In this situation, there is no more delay to publication than any other submission. Nobody cares about the delay to the issue number.

You should check the journal's policies, and if necessary, ask the editor about the intended timeline. If you do not like the timeline, take your paper to another journal.

Here there is no indication that the editor has acted unethically. It is fine for the editor to ask you to submit your paper differently. Editors might even think they are helping you by directing you to the special issue, because maybe people interested in the topic of the special issue will read your paper.

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