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My paper has been rejected four times in last two years. I have tried two journals. They don't even have good rankings but it was rejected repeatedly. I improved the article by taking reviewers comments into consideration but still it comes back with rejections.

What frustrates me is the fact that I can see some articles which I followed getting published in same journals. They explore country context, whereas my article investigates the same problem in another country context (a developing country) which indicates there is a contribution.

It's been a long time that I have worked on this article. The data that I used is getting outdated since the business environment keeps changing rapidly.

So my question is, what course of action I should take given my current situation? Should I dump this article and move on with something new? Or just keep sending it to other journals?

  • 5
    Is there no trusted colleague/prof which you can ask? Sometimes, the way an article is written is ill-designed for publication, especially for inexperienced authors. – Captain Emacs Oct 20 '16 at 10:56
  • 2
    So what do the reviews that you get say? While sometimes, the real reason for rejection is not expressed in the reviews, after four round of reviews, there should be some valid points about your paper in them. – DCTLib Oct 20 '16 at 11:33
  • @DCTLib That's something I struggle to find. They want contribution of the paper to be clearly stated and I did that. They tend to target methodology I adopted. And some conclusions that doesn't add something (which surprise me). Finally, they point out that the paper is very descriptive and need a theoretical backing. – Ahmad Oct 20 '16 at 12:15
  • @CaptainEmacs that's something I struggle to find someone experienced in my school/field to have a critical look at the manuscript before I submit it. The people I have approached seems very busy in their own research. – Ahmad Oct 20 '16 at 12:18
  • @scaaahu sorry I know I took time to reply. – Ahmad Oct 20 '16 at 12:19
2

It depends. That is my answer.

If you really believe that your paper offers an interesting contribution, then:

  • Try to improve your manuscript by doing this:

    • Extend and update the state of the art (maybe adding those related papers you mentioned in your question).
    • Be honest, be thorough, be critical: What are the weak parts of your manuscript? (Are the introduction, the theoretical aspects, the conclusions... bad written? Is your contribution not clearly highlighted and/or explained? Could you add some numerical examples to your manuscript (if this applies)?) Identify them, and go and try to improve them.
    • Try to add an explanatory chart of the process/method/solution you are describing or proposing. (Relevant) drawings can help people to understand your article and can make it more appealing to referees.
    • Get your manuscript reviewed by a colleague you trust. This is a must-do. Maybe you are not seeing something that is obvious to other people.
    • Of course, double-check the language usage. Ask some expert to review grammar, vocabulary, etc., if necessary.
  • Maybe the problem is not with your paper. Try to look for the right scientific journal. Some hints:

    • Look for articles related with your research topic in the Web of Knowledge (WoK, https://webofknowledge.com/) or Google Scholar (GS, https://scholar.google.com/) and see in which journal they were published (for instance, you can use some keywords related with your paper).
    • Similar to the previous one: If you are interested in sending your manuscript to a certain journal, look for articles related with your manuscript that have been published in that journal (using advanced search in WoK or GS). If you don't find any match, probably it is not the right journal.

If you already tried all the above suggestions and they did not work, then consider to publish your research as a technical report before quitting, at least.

EDIT:

I also recommend you to read these two articles:

  • Thats perhaps the best thing to do. You answer is much clearer and something I can now consider to improve the current version of my article. Cheers! – Ahmad Oct 20 '16 at 12:45
-3

There is a well know technique called "Skyscraper". Although it is more related to SEO but you can implement it in your article too.

  1. Detect the reason why your article gets rejected.
  2. Try to rectify that problem.
  3. Come up with a better article.
  4. Re-submit article.
  5. Hopefully get selected this time.
  • Hi, thanks much. Its helpful to know about your suggested technique. – Ahmad Oct 20 '16 at 12:46

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