I got my article rejected from two journals in a row as they think my work is not suitable for submission in their journals. It was my fault that I could not properly understand the aim and scope of these journals. Now I am submitting my work to a third journal after thoroughly checking the aim and scope along with already published articles related to my field.

My question is, as I will not provide the previous rejection history of my article to the third journal, would this third journal have any information about the rejection history of my article ?

  • Often the submission system asks about previous submissions. But if you got the scope of the journal wrong, why are you worried about it when applying to the right journal?
    – Jessica B
    Nov 3, 2016 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


There's at least two types of rejections:

  1. Desk rejection where the editor says an article is out of scope.
  2. Rejection upon review where the editor in consultation with the reviewers' recommendations rejects the paper for publication.

For a great description of the process, see here.

Forgive the convoluted wording on the second one -- basically, it means your paper was reviewed and then rejected. The precise relation between the reviewer's reviews and the outcome varies by journal, but it is the editor who ultimately rejects.

In contrast, a "desk rejection" means that the article never went to reviewers and was rejected upon receipt due to some issue -- scope? formatting? bad English?

If you got a desk rejection, the odds that the next journal or reviewers will know anything about this paper is nil. If you were rejected post-review, then it's quite possible (and in some fields probable) that the same people might be reviewers even for a different journal.


It depends. Reviewer work for often for more than one journal. Depending on the size of the community in your area and how specific your problem is, there is a good chance that a reviewer has read the previous version of your paper.

  • I understood that no reviewer read the previous versions of the manuscript. So, I don't think the reviewers will have access to prior rejections (unless the editors of the first two journals are editors or reviewers for the third one).
    – BioGeo
    Nov 13, 2016 at 20:04

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