I hold a prepared and written manuscript (10 500 words of text) focused on argumenting about specific problem in my field of study. This paper has been rejected few times from the most reputable journals and now I stand before the decision to finally send it to the last remaining one of the reputable journals I took inspiration from. However, as this was my first paper I think I might have overreached and plugged almost everything I could in it that I considered relevent for the argument. Now, I start to think that this might be the problem and the reason for rejection, because the paper feels rather like two papers that could be separated.
I am pretty confident that the first chapter (2 500 words) of the paper is its strongest point, there is the core of the argument, while the remaining chapters are just supportive evidence and classification of the possible outcomes of the argument. However, there is one substantial problem: The argument on its own is not sufficient for publications as it should contain implications as well (cannot just say: this definition is problematic for this and that reason; must include also, what to make of it). My most profound implication of the argument I present is that it effectively simplifies another argument. But... This implication is laid out in total of 3 chapters on multiple separate positions (around 1 500 words in total) - in the original paper it makes sense as I focus on too many things that are interconnected.
And here's the thing... I could shorten the paper, use the first chapter, and rewrite the implication such that it is more compact. Or I could write a cover letter to editors explaining that I do not exactly know what should I let in the paper and propose the afformentioned reduction.
- Is writing a cover letter to editors proposing the shortening of the paper a good custom?
- The reduced version of the paper would contain less information but would be more compact.
- Shall I send the reduced version right away and just tell there is potentially more to it?