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We (I with my co-authors) recently had done a high-quality work and submitted to a Journal A (with high impact factor and reputed). A belongs to Wiley Publishers. In its' own site, it displays a set of Associated Journals (which are possibly its sister or new journals).

We had submitted a work which achieved far better results than a recent work published by the journal A. We were hoping about a green signal on acceptance. However, to our surprise, the editor rejected the paper and suggested to submit the work to one of its sister journal, which are new and not having any impact.

It is bit strange, though. Is is just a strategy to promote their sister/new journals? Why would a journal possibly reject a high-quality work just like that?

Note: The present status of the paper in submission system displays recommended for other journals.

  • Was it rejected by the editor or by the reviewers? (I know you mention the editor, but to make sure) – BioGeo Nov 23 '16 at 20:32
  • It was desk reject by the Editor.@George – Coder Nov 23 '16 at 20:33
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    It’s impossible for us to answer this question: We cannot know whether your paper actually was high-quality work and what the actual motivations of the journal were. Our guess is as good as yours (which seems to be the most plausible one anyway apart from an honest rejection and recomendation). – Wrzlprmft Nov 23 '16 at 20:34
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    @Wrzlprmft Good point. Although sometimes it's just general words, what did the editor say in his letter of rejection? I don't think there is a standard reason and whether (you think) your work has higher quality than the other article, there are several reasons why that one made it through and yours didn't. And indeed, your guess is as good as ours. You could always politely ask the editor. Maybe you get a reply (most probably not...) – BioGeo Nov 23 '16 at 20:41
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That's pretty common, a lot of journals offer to move your submission to other journals of the same publishers.

Why do they do it? Well, if they think that publication is worth anything (will get cited...) they can indirectly make money with that, so the publisher wants to have it.

Now why wouldn't they just accept it then? There are two reasons. One would be it's not good enough for that journal but it's good enough for another, which doesn't seem to be the case here. The second one would be that it doesn't fit into that journal for whatever reason (likely here). In both cases they will offer you the possibility of that other journal.

For Wiley an example would be Angewandte Chemie and Chemistry - A European Journal. The latter is somehow a collecting tank for rejected publications in Angewandte Chemie and it's also the journal for Full Papers, as Angewandte Chemie does only accept Communications. (And well, all the editors there are in a certain field of chemistry, so nowadays submissions which were in scope some years ago now get rejected with "not in scope"...)

  • It seems like you are a chemistry researcher. I work on computational chemistry. – Coder Nov 23 '16 at 20:57

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