My manuscript was rejected without sending to peer review, of course the editor whom I sent my paper is an expert in my field and he rejected it without any report. (it took one and half month with editor). Just the editor in chief told that the editor can not recommend this paper to publish in Journal X. Now I want to ask about sending another email to Editor to ask about his suggestions on my paper. For example, if he recommend another journal or some advice on improving my paper? Can I send such direct email to him?

The editor who rejected my paper is the editor of several journals, what about sending my paper to him through other journals' which he is on editorial board as well?


3 Answers 3


It is not the editor’s job to give you advice on how to improve your paper or where to submit it. And it is the editor’s job to do lots of other things, which usually keep them pretty busy. So at the very least, you’d be imposing on them by contacting them with such questions. You might get lucky and get some advice, but be aware that you are essentially betting on the editor being willing to spend time answering a question from a random person they don’t know and whose question they have no professional obligation to answer. If you lose the bet (or even potentially if you win the bet) it might not leave the best impression.

As a general rule, it makes more sense to discuss these sorts of questions with your adviser, a mentor, or a colleague you are on friendly terms with.

  • 1
    Plus 1. But at least I think the editor should be acting in a more prompt way. At least in my field and good journals more than one month for desk rejection is almost ridiculously long.
    – Alchimista
    Aug 6, 2019 at 10:14
  • @Alchimista In the major journal that I am involved with most desk rejects happen quickly, but some do take a fairly long time. This is because there are "borderline" desk rejects where the two EiCs would communicate among themselves, potentially looping in an AE who would likely be handling the paper in case it's not desk-rejected. Given that all 2-3 involved people are senior (and busy) academics, a few weeks of delay can happen.
    – xLeitix
    Aug 6, 2019 at 11:10
  • @Alchimista I think the word “should” should be thrown around way less often than it is... Anyway, more to the point, we don’t even know that this was a “desk rejection”. In math for example these days it is very common for editors to solicit a “quick opinion” ahead of getting a full review, which is not always communicated to the author. And while the quick opinion is meant to be quick (usually they ask you to answer in 1-2 weeks), the editor still has to find someone willing to give it, which can take time.
    – Dan Romik
    Aug 6, 2019 at 16:22

Editors don't read every paper completely before sending to potential peer reviewers. Asking him doesn't help you. Either the formal style (english, figure quality) or topic (abstract, introduction) or impact was not matching quality and socpe of this journal. At this point you have to ask and talk with your advisor and co-authors, not the editor.

Top-tier journals have acceptance rates below 10%. There is no time to advise authors of not reviewed papers.


Re "For example, if he recommend another journal or some advice on improving my paper?": I think both questions are totally fine. It sounds like the editor is a very busy person, so don't be discouraged if they don't reply, but I see nothing wrong with asking these questions.

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