I am trying to publish my paper for almost two years, after two major revisions it has been rejected by an editor of an international journal. My field of study is geophysics. They complain about the English, and that does not make any sense because my paper was read by my American friend. Last time one of the reviewers complained that he does not understand algorithms that I have used (artificial intelligence). I gave detailed explanations of these algorithms instead of citations. Every time the editor changes the reviewers so I got new minor comments. How can I solve this problem? Should I try another journal, or what?

  • 7
    If you are asking yourself about this, then maybe trying another journal is the thing to do. For English: Did your American friend know geophysics?
    – GEdgar
    May 9, 2016 at 17:26
  • @GEdgar No,he has Phd in transportation. May 9, 2016 at 17:36
  • sometimes it's not you, it's them, although you might not want to do this, unless you thought your work was a masterpiece: math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/YuriT2.html. I.e., don't put the editor-in-chief on the spot and at the same time make it publicly available information :)
    – User001
    May 9, 2016 at 18:06
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    If your paper has been rejected by a journal, you should submit to another journal. Also, your English needs improvement (no space after punctuation, no space before left parenthesis, 'detail explanation' instead of detailed explanation). Also, "I gave detail explanation of these algorithms instead of citations" is wrong. If those algorithms have been proposed by someone else and are crucial to your work, you should provide details about them AND provide the corresponding citations.
    – Alexandros
    May 9, 2016 at 18:08
  • 1
    Native speaker != good proofreader. There are several skills a native speaker may lack even if they know the material well: formal writing (which may not apply here); critical reading (a PhD should teach this skill but doesn't always); giving feedback. The last is a tricky one because it's not just a skill but depends on the relationship between you.
    – Chris H
    May 10, 2016 at 8:09

3 Answers 3


Welcome to research. Trust your work and rewrite the paper. If the only problem is the English, after a few revisions the writing style should be greatly improved. Also, consider asking someone who is either fluent in English or an English teacher to proofread the paper.


Reading poorly written English is aggravating. International students get more leeway for bad grammar, with the expectation that if the science is sound, the grammar can be fixed. A rejection after a major revision means you failed to adequately respond to comments made by the reviewers. Pick a different journal and try again. Don't trust a friend to read the paper: pay a professional editor to fix the paper.

  • I have responded to every comment.By the way,do you know any site where I can find professional editor? May 10, 2016 at 11:19
  • How you respond to every comment matters more than how many comments your respond to. Regarding hiring and editor: getalifephd.blogspot.com/2012/10/…
    – Mox
    May 11, 2016 at 21:32

Assuming your research is solid, your arguments well-supported, and your acknowledgements presented as expected by this journal, writing style and conventions (as Alexandros and Mikey Mike suggested) may be the key. Read some articles published in this journal--any buzz words or acronyms that enjoy special favour? Is YOUR writing style too florid? Some technical and scientific journals abhor 'poetic' phrasing.

  • My native language is Serbian,I can speak English,Russian,Portuguese and French.I have read a lot of articles in geophysics,I read them almost every day.Writing style florid,probably.At each submission,different reviewers were chosen.One of the problems is that my Phd advisor was not fluent in English and does not know about all aspects of my research(which was presented in thesis),but still I regard my work as high-quality. May 10, 2016 at 11:12

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