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Scientific publication: Rejected manuscripts receive citation boost

Scientific publication: Rejected manuscripts receive citation boost (TEAPEA Team)

A study of some 80,000 papers submitted to 932 journals over a two-year period has found that having your paper rejected may not necessarily be a bad thing. A computer programme that sent an email to the corresponding author of over 200,000 papers asked them if they previously submitted the paper to a different journal and if so the name of the journal. From the 100,000 replies received, it was found that the highest impact-factor journals receive the majority of first submissions and that, once rejected, authors then sent their manuscript to a journal with a lower impact factor journal. It was also found that around 75% of papers are accepted on their first submission, a feature that indicates scientists are efficient at picking the right journal for their paper. There were also a couple of surprising results from the study. Papers that had been rejected and then resubmitted to another journal had more citations than a paper that was published into that journal on the first attempt. It was concluded that the process of rejection, where a researcher is forced to rewrite and possibly do follow-up work to gain better results, actually improves the quality of the paper.

 

The network of scientific journals as derived from manuscript submission flows. Nodes are journals, and the connections between them represent manuscript resubmissions. For clarity, only the seven largest communities detected (N = 1841 journals) are shown, each a different color, ISI subject categories are mapped on the graph as the centroid of their journals.

The network of scientific journals as derived from manuscript submission flows. Nodes are journals, and the connections between them represent manuscript resubmissions. For clarity, only the seven largest communities detected (N = 1841 journals) are shown, each a different color, ISI subject categories are mapped on the graph as the centroid of their journals.

  • Calcagno V., E. Demoinet, K. Gollner, L. Guidi, D. Ruths & C. de Mazancourt. (2012). Flows of research manuscripts among scientific journals reveal hidden submission patterns. Science, 338, 1065-1069
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/10/10/science.1227833/suppl/DC2