194

While you might be able to appeal to the editor, once you've been rejected, you're probably not going to get a change in decision. I would instead recommend focusing on a new submission to another journal. Before you do so, however, I would strongly advise performing a major revision on your presentation of the proofs. Assuming that your proofs are in ...


141

Check with the journal. Especially do this if the rejection email you received looks like an auto-generated email. No rational journal would act in such a way, so my gut feeling says there was a mistake somewhere, most likely human error. It is possible that, e.g., the final status of your manuscript was accidentally set to 'reject' instead of 'accept'.


120

If the review is unclear, you should contact the editor for clarification, and not the referee. This would be true even if the peer review was not blinded. The editor is in charge of peer review.


112

These two issues are separate: if they reject your paper without comments, that's where you have to complain. They did not do a good job, reputable or not, and you are entitled to an explanatory review, especially since they wasted your time. But you should not link the issues. If you think the journal is not as good as it used to be, you can decide not to ...


104

This is unacceptable. If this is a reputable journal, then you can make the point that they made you wait and the research results become stale, and that you have every right to expect them to honour their approval for publication. They simply cannot retroactively change whether the paper fits into aim/scope of the journal - that decision had been taken ...


92

From what I've heard the NSF fellowship is not an easy one to get, and having one seems to carry some sort of prestige. Sure, the program may have accepted you on the ground that they don't have to pay you, but the fact that you have an NSF fellowship may have changed the admission committee's perception of your ability, which could be what tipped the ...


88

If you were asked to re-review an "unchanged" manuscript there are a number of things you can do (e.g., Asked again to review a paper, when the authors don't wish to modify it). The issue is that this is not the case. You are no longer part of the review process. The first thing you should do is STOP. The behavior you have engaged in so far has been ...


88

Getting a rejection sucks. There is not much you can do about it. My wife and I have talked about this a lot and as candidates the only thing we wanted to know was how close we were and how we stacked up against the people who beat us. When sitting on search committess we have had various levels of success trying to inform candidates in the rejection letter ...


87

I am quite new to academia, is the above considered normal practice No. This is abnormal and unacceptable for a reviewer or editor to suggest this. Any advice of what I can do? If the journal you submitted to really is legitimate, contact the editor and escalate this. Simply point out that the review you received pointed you to a predatory journal, and ...


82

You don't say what your field is. I think you would get a better answer if you did, as cultural norms differ. My answer is from the perspective of a pure mathematician. The first thing I want to say is that, given absolutely no specific technical information about your situation, your post gives me the impression that your work is most likely not correct. ...


80

No you should not contact the suspected referee. You may think you're 100% sure but there is still a chance you're wrong. Also anonymous reviewing is there to give the referee a chance to be honest and critical and thus not fear retaliation if they reject a paper. You emailing them (if you have the right person) breaks this. Would you be as critical a ...


79

@Fomite's answer is spot on. I would like to expand further on the differences between a biased review, a lazy review, a significantly erroneous review, and a negative review, and which do/don't warrant an appeal. The examples given in this post come from a contest held by the always-excellent FemaleScienceProfessor. Quite a few are real reviews, or based on ...


76

Probably not what you want to hear, but... There's the option of submitting it somewhere else?


75

You seem to be conflating "Bias" and "Negativity". Bias would imply that your paper was being reviewed unfairly, either because of its content, or its authors - if they were known or divined by the reviewer. It's entirely possible, and fairly standard, to get negative reviews you disagree with. When it comes down to it, your paper was rejected, and the only ...


74

There isn't anything between the lines. It's simply a rejection. The editor and reviewers feel that your paper is clearly not strong enough for this journal, and they're telling you so. Note that JAMS is an extremely selective journal, generally considered one of the top four out of all the many hundreds of journals in mathematics. It is very very hard to ...


74

Top journals, and JAMS is at the very top (most mathematicians probably will not have ever seriously considered submitting there), typically have 2 first passes before a proper peer-review (referee): (1) editorial consideration and (2) "quick" opinions from experts. Which is to say, there are 2 common ways for a paper to be rejected before it is sent for a ...


71

It is just a nice way to say no. Submit elsewhere. This is called a desk reject; you will find more in this question What does the typical workflow of a journal look like? . Note that Math Comp is one of the top journals in its field, so unless the paper was extremely good this was the expected outcome.


70

Higgs's 1964 paper on the Higgs mechanism was rejected by Physics Letters (where his preliminary paper on the subject was published). He was told that it was not suitable for rapid publication and that he should send it to another journal. However, he reportedly heard that the paper had been rejected because the editors felt that "it was of no obvious ...


69

First, a note: the editor (or editors, or editorial committee) is solely responsible for the decision to publish or reject a submitted manuscript. Reviewers are often (not always) called in and their reports provide help to the editor in evaluating the manuscript. But, at the end of the day, it is the editor who makes the call, so the situation you describe ...


69

If you sent me the email, here is how I would reply: Dear High GPA I am not in the habit of telling people if I refereed their paper - that would be a most inappropriate thing for me to do, and it is similarly inappropriate for you to ask me to break the referee’s anonymity. So I cannot addresss any of your questions. If you need feedback about your paper, ...


66

For the sake of science [...], I intend to upload my paper, the referee report and the covering letter of the associate editor (all of whom are anonymous, BTW) on my website and on researchgate. Alongside this, I plan to upload an explanation explaining why the journal was mathematically wrong to reject my work. Besides possibly being a copyright ...


65

A "major revision" decision generally implies that, if the reviewers' concerns are addressed, the paper will probably be published. (See this related question, What does a "major revision" mean?) Sometimes when a paper is poorly written, it's hard for reviewers to judge its technical merits. (Because the presentation is so poor as to make it ...


59

F'x has ably covered one possible reason: that it's not you, it's them. I'm going to cover the other side of things. That is, starting from the assumption that the editor has made a good decision. The authors should consider rewriting the abstract and introduction. If two peer reviewers didn't understand the paper, the paper may just need a savage ...


59

Is it weird that the journal is now thinking me capable of reviewing a manuscript? Not really. Almost all scientists have their papers rejected on a regular basis and if this disqualified them from reviewing, journals would be running out of reviewers extremely quickly. Moreover, highly ranking journals reject papers mainly for their lack of importance, not ...


58

This is a waste of your time, and, more importantly, a waste of the time of people who already selflessly gave away their time working to give you feedback that helps you improve your paper, and to help the peer-review system function. The best thing you can do is not ask the editor and referees to spend any more time on your paper, unless you are ...


57

"Following a review of the manuscript by the editorial board, we have regretfully decided not to consider this work for publication. We thank you for your interest in our journal and..." This sounds like an editorial ("desk") reject more than anything else. Hence, there typically is no formal, written review that the editor could forward to you. It is just ...


55

I feel the only way out is to resubmit it for another conference in near future. That about sums it up. Negative reviews and rejections are hard to swallow. They are common in academia and you cannot let them get to you. The best thing to do is step away from the manuscript. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. After a while, generally ...


54

There is an extremely simple rule for dealing with reviews that make you unhappy. Here is the rule: it's not them, it's you. This rule of thumb implies, it is never the reviewers' fault. Rather, it is always your responsibility. Oh, you say the reviewers didn't seem to understand the paper? Well, that's your fault. It is your responsibility to make ...


53

One of the key questions for any piece of scientific work is this: how does this work contribute to human knowledge? If a work fails to even discuss its relationship to prior work, then it is entirely appropriate to reject it. Likewise, if the authors mention algorithms that are directly comparable but fail to actually make a comparison with any of those ...


52

You make the suggested changes, assuming you agree with them, and submit to another slightly less prestigious journal. Most likely, the editors didn't think your paper was interesting enough for their journal, and the reviewers weren't sufficiently enthusiastic about the paper to convince them otherwise. At the top journals, for a paper to be accepted, it's ...


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