Why Research Manuscripts are Getting Rejected? Common Reasons

Feb 20, 2024
research manuscript getting rejected

Research manuscripts function as a gateway for disseminating new findings and contributing to the advancement of knowledge in various fields. However, despite meticulous efforts invested by researchers, a significant number of manuscripts face rejection during the peer-review process. Understanding the common reasons behind these rejections is crucial for aspiring authors to enhance the quality of their submissions and increase their chances of acceptance.

Poor Research Design

One of the primary reasons for manuscript rejection is a poor research design. This includes vague research objectives, inadequate methodology, and flawed experimental designs. Without clear objectives, researchers may fail to address relevant research questions effectively. Moreover, methodological flaws can compromise the validity and reliability of study findings, leading to rejection.

Inadequate Literature Review

A comprehensive literature review is essential to establish the significance of the research and provide context for the study. Manuscripts often get rejected due to an insufficient review of existing literature, which results in a failure to demonstrate the novelty and relevance of the research. Ignoring seminal studies or recent advancements in the field can diminish the manuscript's credibility in the eyes of reviewers.

Low-Quality Writing

The quality of writing plays a significant role in the acceptance of research manuscripts. Grammatical errors, convoluted sentences, and lack of clarity can hinder understanding and detract from the credibility of the research. Reviewers expect manuscripts to be well-written and organized, with coherent arguments and concise explanations.

Data Interpretation Problems

Misinterpretation of data and unsupported conclusions are common pitfalls that lead to manuscript rejection. Researchers must accurately analyze their data and draw conclusions based on evidence rather than speculation. Failure to present findings clearly or to justify conclusions with robust evidence can raise doubts about the validity of the research.

Ethical Concerns

Ethical misconduct, including plagiarism and data fabrication, is a serious offense that can result in immediate rejection of a manuscript. Authors are expected to adhere to ethical guidelines and academic integrity principles throughout the research process. Failure to do so not only undermines the credibility of the manuscript but also tarnishes the reputation of the researchers and their institutions.

Choosing the right journal for submission is crucial for the success of a manuscript. Manuscripts often face rejection when they are submitted to journals that are not aligned with their scope or audience. Ignoring submission guidelines or failing to tailor the manuscript to the journal's requirements can signal a lack of professionalism and lead to rejection.

Failure to Address Reviewer Comments

Receiving constructive feedback from reviewers is an opportunity for authors to improve their manuscripts. However, many manuscripts get rejected because authors either fail to address reviewer comments adequately or dismiss them outright. It is essential for authors to approach reviewer feedback with humility and make necessary revisions to strengthen their manuscript.

Manuscripts that fail to present novel findings or contribute significantly to existing knowledge are often rejected. Reviewers look for research that pushes the boundaries of current understanding and offers fresh insights into the field. Replicating existing studies or presenting incremental findings may not meet the standards for publication in reputable journals.

Overlooking Technical Requirements

Technical errors, such as formatting issues and incorrect citation styles, can detract from the professionalism of a manuscript. Authors must ensure compliance with journal guidelines regarding manuscript preparation and submission. Neglecting technical requirements can give the impression of carelessness and result in rejection.

Inconsistent Results

Inconsistencies in study findings or lack of reproducibility can raise doubts about the validity of the research. Manuscripts that fail to provide robust evidence or contain conflicting data may be rejected due to concerns about the reliability of the results. Authors should ensure the integrity and consistency of their data to avoid rejection.

Unreliable References

Citing outdated or biased sources undermines the credibility of a manuscript and can lead to rejection. Authors must use reliable and up-to-date references to support their arguments and situate their research within the broader context of existing literature. Failure to cite relevant studies or relying on questionable sources can weaken the manuscript's validity.

Insufficient Statistical Analysis

Sound statistical analysis is essential for drawing accurate conclusions from research data. Manuscripts that lack robust statistical methods or overlook data validity and reliability are prone to rejection. Authors should ensure that their statistical analyses are appropriate for the research design and sufficiently rigorous to support their findings.


In conclusion, research manuscript rejection can be attributed to various factors, including poor research design, inadequate literature review, low-quality writing, data interpretation problems, ethical concerns, inappropriate journal selection, failure to address reviewer comments, lack of innovation, technical errors, poor presentation, inconsistent results, unreliable references, and insufficient statistical analysis. Addressing these common reasons can significantly improve the quality and acceptance rate of research manuscripts.