VU researchers and postgraduate students should not be discouraged if their research paper is initially rejected by Elsevier, the science, technology and medical journal publisher.
At a recent workshop hosted by VU Library, Elsevier director, Elizabeth Kim advised researchers to undertake a major revision and address all reviewers comments to increase their chances of having a paper accepted for publication.
A quality research paper begins with a strong abstract and introduction with an emphasis on what’s new about the study, and what knowledge gap is being addressed. A paper is also more likely to be accepted for publication if it contains an exciting message presented in a logical manner so that reviewers and editors can grasp its significance easily.
Common reasons papers are rejected for publication include:
- the abstract, introduction and conclusions lack novelty
- discussion and conclusions are not supported by the research results
- no interpreation of data
- no comparison with previously published papers
Special attention must be given to language with sentence structure, tenses and grammar being important to ensure that a paper is not rejected. Researchers should also use figures and tables to present results, and provide self-explanatory captions and legends.