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I'm submitting a paper on image processing.

I previously submitted it to peerj, but they rejected it with this message:

I am afraid that your submission does not fit our Scope - https://peerj.com/about/aims-and-scope/cs - because PeerJ only considers and publishes Research Articles with primary data and experimental results across the whole of Computer Science.

Ok, so I need to find a journal with a matching scope

So I tried IEEE transactions on signal processing.

On the web submission form I see this message

Is this manuscript a re-submission or shortened version of a previously rejected manuscript? If you answer "Yes", specify the journal and manuscript ID of the previous submission and upload a response to the previous review. Please read the IEEE Signal Processing Society policy 6.16 "Handling of Rejected Papers" before resubmitting the manuscript.

The web form however does not appear to provide any have any field where I can specify the requested information. Also, peerj does not appear to provide any kind of "manuscript ID", since the paper was rejected, it is not even publicly available as a pre-print.

What should I do in this situation?

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Usually, such kind of notes refer to manuscripts rejected by the same journal, not by other journals. In this case, the IEEE transactions on signal processing. The manuscript ID of the previous submission allows the editor to recover information about the previous process.

The IEEE Signal Processing Society policy 6.16, though not explicit, hints at the above interpretation (bold mine):

If authors indicate instead that their manuscript is a resubmission, then they are required to upload a supporting document detailing how the new submission has addressed the concerns raised during the previous review. Authors may also request that the resubmission be handled by the same Associate Editor, if the Associate Editor has not retired from the board. The Editor-in-Chief will do his/her best effort to accommodate the author’s request while taking into consideration the balancing of the workload among the Associate Editors of the editorial board of the journal. A new Associate Editor may also be assigned to the manuscript by the Editor-in-Chief.

Indeed, the highlighted possible request is feasible only if the resubmission is to the same journal.

Thus, you should simply make a new submission, without reference to prior submissions to different venues.

When, instead, you are submitting a revised version of a previously rejected manuscript to the same journal, you can report the previous manuscript ID in the cover letter.

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    If this is only asking about prior submissions to the same journal, then why does it ask the author to "specify the journal and manuscript ID"? – Nate Eldredge Sep 24 '16 at 18:46
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    @NateEldredge The Signal Processing Society publishes several journals, not only that Transactions. See their publications page. The policy applies to all publications of the Society. – Massimo Ortolano Sep 24 '16 at 21:53

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