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I had a submission recently to a special issue of a journal. It was rejected. I noted that there exists another special issue in the same journal and my paper is also within the scope of that. Is it reasonable to resubmit that for another special issue of a same journal, whereas already rejected?

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  • Why was your paper rejected?
    – Allure
    Feb 22 at 12:28
  • on the basis of discipline, novelty and general significance
    – user40491
    Feb 22 at 12:29

2 Answers 2

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In theory, special issues have guest editors. Guest editors are often not members of the editorial board, although the editorial board still has oversight and veto power over any accepted paper. That means that if you submit to another special issue, it's similar to submitting to another journal - you'll reach another editor who might decide differently to the first editor.

However, given that it is the same journal, odds are the journal's editorial management system will flag your submission as a duplicate. So your paper might be rejected at this stage - either by the journal staff, or by the new editor (using the old editor's decision).

One can't predict what will happen to your paper reliably, but since the rejection reasons are generic, if you resubmit, you should do serious revision, either by adding more results or by arguing the novelty of your work more convincingly. The more work you do here, the less likely it is that your manuscript will be desk rejected.

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If the paper was rejected only (or mostly) because it was a bad fit for the special issue, then it might be a better fit for the new issue, depending. In that case, resubmission might be warranted. But, given your comment that it has novelty and significance issues, I'd say that resubmitting would be pointless unless you can address those issues.

That will take work, however, with limited time for it. I'd guess your better option is to work on those issues for a future submission, probably elsewhere.

I'll also guess that if the paper fit the new requirements that you'd get (actually, might get) an invitation from the editor(s) to resubmit.

I'll also note that another possible reason for rejection from a special issue is that there are too many good submissions to fit them all (print journals primarily). But that isn't the issue in this case.

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