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Why was my manuscript rejected?
Whenever I receive a manuscript for publication in the Journal of
Professional Nursing, I am confident the authors worked hard to write
what they believe is an excellent manuscript. Authors are optimistic for
a positive outcome for their submission and anxiously await a decision
with the hope of having only to make minor revisions, if any.
Unfortunately, the time from submission to receiving a decision
about the manuscript can take several months. The reason for the delay
is the difficulty I have in obtaining two helpful reviews for each
manuscript. I often must invite up to 10 reviewers before I can find two
who consent to complete the review. The other hurdles I face are the
number of reviewers who return the review past the due date or who
never return the promised review, and the number of reviews that are
useless due to poor quality. I am seeking reviews that focus on the
specific strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript but, unfortunately,
there are times when I receive reviews that only summarize mistakes in
spelling, grammar, punctuation, and American Psychological
Association referencing style. These reviews are not helpful, so I must
start over and find a new reviewer.
After careful scrutiny of the reviewers’ comments and my own
thorough evaluation of the manuscript, sometimes I make the decision
to reject a manuscript. I write an extensive review of these rejected
manuscripts to help authors understand why I made the rejection decision. Although I know authors are disappointed, my hope is that they
can learn from their mistakes. It would be ideal, however, if authors
could avoid some fatal flaws before they submit their manuscript.
The purpose of this editorial is to provide a synopsis of the major
reasons I reject manuscripts sent to the Journal of Professional Nursing.
Armed with this information, I believe authors can avoid rejection of
As the editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing, I am committed
to helping authors successfully publish their work. By avoiding the
pitfalls that I have discussed, I believe that authors can achieve their
goal of sharing their important work with others through publication in
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