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I have received the decision on a manuscript that I have submitted. The editor in chief decided to reject the paper stating that the reviewers are advising against the publication of the manuscript.

There were four reports, two suggesting minor revisions and publication of the paper. The other two reports had major concerns which are not related to the submitted manuscript, which lead me to believe that they were sent to us by mistake.

Are these kinds of mistakes possible by the editor? How should I contact the editor in order to get some clarifications?

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    Just email the editor stating why you think the reviews are not for your paper. This has happened to me before.
    – VitaminE
    Sep 11 at 6:40
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    Out of curiosity: was it ScholarOne? I had the same incidence once, receiving a review report that clearly belonged to another paper.
    – Dr.M
    Sep 11 at 9:28
  • @Dr.M, no. This was EditorialManager.
    – Med Med
    Sep 11 at 12:08

2 Answers 2

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Are these kinds of mistakes possible by the editor?

Of course such mistakes can happen, editors and all other people involved are actually human.

How should I contact the editor in order to get some clarifications?

Just write a polite enquiry to the editor, either as a reply to the decision e-mail or via the submission portal. Explain briefly that you think two of the reviewer reports were linked to your submission by mistake, and ask the editor to reconsider the decision, if appropriate. Do not be afraid of editors, in my experience they are reasonable people who are open to reasonable requests like yours.

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This kind of mistake should not happen with a properly-configured Editorial Management System, unless the reviewer(s) made the error by uploading the wrong review.

In any case if there is an error, the journal staff should be able to see it in the EMS logs, so you can email the journal. If this email address is not available on the website or from the EMS, you could try replying to the decision letter email.

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  • This happened on EditorialManager. What I find hard to understand is how it was unnoticed that the major concerns of the two other reports were not related to our paper. Especially, when they were two other reports recommending the paper to be published with minor revisions.
    – Med Med
    Sep 11 at 12:10

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