I have written several papers, all of them got accepted (by different journals) with only minor (or even very minor) revisions. Naturally, I am happy about having my research published, especially since I am only in the first half of my PhD.

But I recently read a comment (to an unrelated question) that said:

The other half of the advice: If your papers are always accepted the first place you sent them, then you are aiming too low.

That made me wonder: If my papers are not only always accepted, but even accepted with only very minor requests for change, should I try to submit future papers to other journals with higher impact factors/ better reputation/ higher rejection rate?

As an added note: I work on a pretty interdisciplinary side-branch of engineering, and thus, there is quite a wide variety of journals that I could submit my articles to. The journals I have submitted my previous articles to have an ok impact factor/reputation, but are not at the top. The choice to submit there was made by a combination of: previous submissions from our working group, suggestions from my supervisor, research into what journals might be a good fit as well as where articles covering similar topics have been published previously.


1 Answer 1


"Then you are aiming too low" - this may or may not be true. That you are not asked for major changes doesn't necessarily mean that your papers would have been accepted, maybe after major changes, in higher rated journals. The "secret" to get into higher rated journals is not to write papers that don't require much revision. It's rather about originality, having done the right thing at the right time, potential more general interest, impact, and influence, and difficulty. These things don't play a role for a reviewer who thinks about whether to accept with minor or major revisions. So whether your papers would be fit for higher rated journals cannot be said based on what is in your question.

That said, chances are (obviously depending on your career aims) that papers in top journals would improve your standing, CV, chances for grant success, so surely it makes sense to try to get into better journals if you have work that you feel is up for that (and maybe even with the best you have without that feeling, because maybe you're underestimating yourself). But read some stuff in top journals related to your work and try to learn about how these authors managed to get there (maybe you find out that this stuff doesn't look very different from yours, in which case go for it!).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .