General considerations

The below table outlines the types of decisions journals make when assessing your submitted paper. These decisions are based on the peer review process and the Handling Editor’s or Editor In Chief’s decision.

Decision on paperDefinition
AcceptJournal publishes your paper in its current state.
Accept with minor revisionsJournal is willing to publish your paper given you/co-authors make minor corrections as suggested by the reviewers and/or Handling Editor*.
Accept with major revisionsJournal is willing to publish your paper given you/co-authors make major corrections as suggested by the reviewers and/or Handing Editor.
Revise and resubmitJournal rejects your paper in its current state, but is willing to consider publishing it following major revisions and a new peer review cycle.
RejectJournal will not publish your paper in its current state or any alternative or modified states.

*Handling Editors are editorial board members of journals responsible for the initial handling, assessment, and administration of your research paper following submission to the journal. Handling Editors will allocate your paper within their journal to the appropriate persons depending on the acceptance stage of your paper. For example, after initial submission, the Handling Editor would be responsible for assigning the peer reviewers to the paper. If your paper is accepted, the Handling Editor would then be responsible for overseeing you and your co-authors adhere to the publication standards of the journal, as well as the copyright restrictions of the publishing company. Other roles include liaising with the copy-editor to have your paper proofread to ensure it is error free and publication ready.

Practical example for Life Sciences

Journals within the life sciences all follow the decisions of paper acceptance outlined in the above table.

Practical example for Social Sciences

Journals within the social sciences follow the decisions outlined above with one minor, conditional difference. If you article is rejected for publication by the editor following review and you believe that this decision has been based on a review that is either unfairly biased or reflects a clear misunderstanding of the research presented, you may appeal directly to the editor to reconsider their decision. Such an appeal should only be made in the case that you can provide evidence to support why you believe the reviewer to be unfairly biased or can illustrate to the editor where the misunderstanding has occurred and how you may amend the manuscript to improve clarity and thus warrant publication.

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