We had submitted a research paper (graph theory related), which included a set of theorems, lemma, and proofs, to an international Mathematics conference around 2 months back.

The decision on our manuscript has come just a couple of days back. The decision is 'rejected'. However, we do not understand why there were no comments associated with the decision.

We are not worried about the rejection, rather, we are worried about what are the possible comments for the decision so that we can probably improve our work to fit in next venue (journal or conference).

We have emailed a few times to the conference chair about the comments; however, not heard anything great.

Does anyone here with this type of experiences? Is it really possible that they rejected the manuscript without peer-review?

  • 3
    Normally this kind of behaviour indicates that there is something wrong about the specific conference. Was it a reputable conference? Was someone experienced involved in selecting the conference? What specifically did the chair answer to your request? Nov 20, 2016 at 8:40
  • Are you sure there were no comments at all, not even a generic sentence in the text of the e-mail? It just said "your paper is rejected, bye"? Nov 20, 2016 at 9:26
  • 3
    I find yout description of the paper very odd. I mean, what else would a math paper consist of? But the description makes it sound like a theoretical paper which then makes me wonder why it was submitted to a conference. Nov 20, 2016 at 13:43
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    What Tobias is saying is that most theoretical math papers go to journals rather than conferences. Yes, some math conferences publish refereed proceedings, but journals are the default (and usually more reputable) option. Math doesn't have the culture of conference publications that some other fields like CS do.
    – Kimball
    Nov 20, 2016 at 16:02
  • 1
    Since the review process is slow, don't forget to work on another ideas as well.
    – Nikey Mike
    Nov 20, 2016 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Remember that for any journal or conference, it is ultimately the editors (or organizers, program committee, etc) who decide whether to accept a paper. The editors assign reviewers to help them make that decision. But if the editor is already convinced that the paper will not be acceptable for publication, then they may reject it without sending it to a reviewer. This is called a "desk reject". In such a case, it can happen that no further comments are given, or only vague comments such as "not of sufficient interest".

This is certainly frustrating because you get no indication as to how to improve your paper. But keep in mind, ultimately it is your job to write a good paper, and it is not the job of editors or reviewers to help you do that.

About all you can do is to reread the paper afresh, address any shortcomings that you find (or already knew about), and submit it somewhere else.


I've submitted to multiple types of professional conferences and I've never received comments on a rejection. Usually they have so many submissions that it just isn't feasible to comment on all of them.

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