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I am a Ph.D. student in the field of social science --sports marketing and public relations. Lately, I have submitted a manuscript to a reputable journal X in my field, my choice was hinged on two reasons: 1. My research addresses a niche that can be published only in a handful of journals, X is the most suitable among them; 2. This journal X, has a relatively short submission to first decision period, which is important in my case as I need a certain number of published articles to be able to defend my thesis and I'm running out of time.

A few days ago, I received the Editor's response which was "rejected". The editors took longer than usual to deliver a decision. When I read the email, I understood that initially the manuscript was assigned to two reviewers. Reviewer 1 made easily addressable comments; reviewer 2 made a low-level review that addressed the tiniest details and explicitly advised the editors not to publish the manuscript in its current form. Apparently, the two reviews were conflicting, so the Editor decided to send it to a third reviewer whose review was more aligned with that of reviewer 2. Although a few comments were unfounded, 90% of the comments were fair.

As a result, the editor rejected the manuscript stating:

In view of the criticisms of the reviewer(s) found at the bottom of this letter, your manuscript has been denied publication in X. We hope you find the reviewers' comments useful as you revise and consider alternative venues for your research.

I have summarized the reviewers' comments and am currently editing the manuscript to address them. I am very tempted to resubmit my manuscript to the same journal, but I wonder whether this is advisable. I'm also contemplating the possibility of sending an email asking the editorial board concerning the matter. I would like to read your thoughts on this before I do anything.

EIDT: I initially thought that I shouldn't consider resubmitting to the same journal, but some fellow researchers told me that some journals plainly deny publication just to reduce the "Time to final decision" metric, which left me a bit puzzle as to what I should do next.

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If the journal was interested in receiving a revised version, the decision would have been a "major revision". But they rejected the paper -- a strong indication that they are not interested in seeing the paper again, even after revisions.

I would suggest to try your luck elsewhere.

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  • I thought the same, but I've been told that journals just plainly refuse manuscripts to reduce the "time to last decision" metric or to avoid problems with authors. Aug 20, 2022 at 1:06
  • @MehdiRezzagHebla This is somewhat true, but it depends on the wording. The wording here is pretty clear. They will not consider your paper if you resubmit, even if you address the concerns of the referees. Aug 20, 2022 at 1:23
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    @MehdiRezzagHebla Why would you want to resubmit (or submit at all) to a journal that plays games like that with peer review?
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 20, 2022 at 2:17
  • @BryanKrause how do you mean? Aug 23, 2022 at 5:21
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    @BryanKrause Because I don't care if they call it "major revision" or "rejection with option to resubmit"?
    – user9482
    Aug 23, 2022 at 5:35
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Some journals don't permit resubmission after rejection. Check to see if that is the case here with your submission.

But the paragraph you cite seems to be pretty strong advice that a resubmission won't be considered. It would be written quite differently otherwise.

But, you can certainly ask whether a resubmission would be considered.

And if you do a major revision, rather than a minimal one, there might be a possibility of considering the paper as a new submission, though doubtful for those journals not accepting revisions after rejection.

You should also start the search for an alternate venue, as suggested, even if you make enquiries of the editors.

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They said:

consider alternative venues for your research

So yeah, resubmitting is not likely to be useful and will most probably result in a desk rejection.

You write that some fellow researchers told you that journals will reject to reduce the time taken to final decision metric, which does happen, but in that case the decision will be 'reject and resubmit' instead of 'reject'.

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