I had submitted a manuscript to a SCI indexed journal and I received a rejection after 4 months The reviewers comments stated:

The reviewer stated only 1 correction in the whole paper and wrote the following :

The proofs of main theorems of this paper are straight forward, and the proofs of many results are written in a too elaborate way, not compact enough. As a result this paper is not recommended for publication in XXX.

I am currently in a very difficult situation. I don't understand if I should just fix the error which the reviewer pointed out and then submit it to the same journal.

I am able to fix that error. So will it be wise to fix it to the same journal or it will be a complete waste of time.

If anyone can help me out, I will be very grateful.

  • If there will be no repercussions.from resubmission do it. You might add on a simple statement like, do these changes reflect what you had in mind in your comments? Meanwhile move on and submit elsewhere if feasible Oct 14 '20 at 3:30
  • 2
    It sounds like that reviewer wouldn't recommend the paper to be published even if that error was fixed. But of course, that's just my interpretation from what is written here. What did the other reviewers say?
    – JimmyK4542
    Oct 14 '20 at 4:08
  • @JimmyK4542; This is the only report I got from the Editor
    – Math_Freak
    Oct 14 '20 at 4:09
  • I would resubmit it without changes or add some discussion to say why the proofs are not trivial. The only concern is if the paper goes back to the same reviewer. However, it seems like the review is written hastily; perhaps the reviewer is not interested in reviewing the paper and made something up. In this case, there is no worry. Oct 14 '20 at 4:19
  • 3
    I think the review comment says: 1. the proofs are not very difficult, 2. and have been written up more complicated than necessary. 2 on its own probably would not have been a reason for rejection, but together with 1 it is. You could ask the editor if there is any point in resubmission if the proofs are made more crisp. Oct 14 '20 at 10:14

There's a high chance resubmission will not work. That's because the review says there are two issues with the paper:

  1. The proofs are straightforward, and
  2. The proofs are not written out well, taking many more lines than necessary.

#2 is a purely presentation issue. #1 can be interpreted in a few ways (see the linked question) but I would guess at the second interpretation in the linked question: the results are gotten in straightforward fashion. This is still not a good comment to receive since it implies the proof isn't interesting even if the result can potentially be.

Note neither of these two review comments critique the scientific merit of your results. In other words, they don't imply your work is wrong. That means the most probable reason your paper was rejected is because it's not interesting enough for publication, which cannot be fixed by improving the presentation.

If you do resubmit the paper, you should do more than fix #2, you should also argue why the result is interesting even though the proofs are straightforward.

  • While this answer provides a fairly accurate analysis, it is the editors who will make the decisions about the importance of 1. and 2. Also, I fear that "arguing" about mathematics is probably a fools game. The paper stands on its own or it doesn't. But the advice to do "more" is correct. it is just that you should improve the paper. And note that some journals won't permit a resubmission after a clear reject. You may need to take it elsewhere.
    – Buffy
    Oct 14 '20 at 23:44
  • @Buffy; thanks for your comment, how would i convince the editor that the result is interesting even though the proofs are straightforward.
    – Math_Freak
    Oct 15 '20 at 2:17
  • how would i convince the editor that the result is interesting even though the proofs are straightforward
    – Math_Freak
    Oct 15 '20 at 2:18
  • @Math_Freak well, are your results interesting? Why should other mathematicians care about your results? I don't know what your results are, but Steve Gubkin's answer here gives an idea of what you need to show: "it makes some connection to existing mathematical theory, illuminates why something disconnected from the theory works the way it does, or solves some existing problem."
    – Allure
    Oct 15 '20 at 3:48

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