Journal of Dental Research and Review

: 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Rejection in publication: A viewpoint

Shalini D Aggarwal 
 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Shalini D Aggarwal
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Aggarwal SD. Rejection in publication: A viewpoint.J Dent Res Rev 2020;7:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Aggarwal SD. Rejection in publication: A viewpoint. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Oct 3 ];7:1-2
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Full Text


It is the innate nature of a human being to want to be accepted, to be part of a larger whole. It is a terrible feeling to be rejected for anything or by anyone during any phase of life. Or is it?[1]

How many of us have faced Rejection only to achieve higher and better things? So many clichés come to mind, when one contemplates “Rejection.” The most common ones being:

When one door closes another one opensMaybe God has something better planned for you.

So, on and so forth. But are these utterances only the by-product of the classic “Sour grapes?” or are they the end product of “been there and done that?”[2],[3]

May be a bit of both.

Rejection is a huge part of the publishing ecosystem and is as inescapable as the wildfires in an Amazonian forest. If you have been native to this system, you must have been rejected more than you have been published. Indeed, statistics state that it is just 3 out of 100 papers that get accepted. What of the remaining 97 groups of authors then? Should we get totally disheartened and crawl into a dark hole which receives no sunlight? Or should we regroup and introspect?[4]

Always the latter!

Going through the list of requirements of the journal and the reviewer comments will ease the sting of rejection and help to focus your attention on what could have been the stumbling block to your article getting published. It could sometimes be a simple technical error, or maybe the syntax and formatting need improvement. It could also be that a less than perfect command over the language caused the rejection. Formatting and following the technical directions are easily rectified if the directions are followed to the “T.” If language is the problem and you are struggling with it, seeking outside help is the wiser course of action.[5]

A constantly neglected feature is the Bibliography. Given that when one writes an article, the matter is sourced from articles that have been written about the same topic, can be explored for additional reading, thus making your own article more useful, giving the bibliography all the respect that it deserves. So not neglecting to structure the bibliography in the correct format and not including all the necessary publications is a surefire way of getting your article rejected.

Being rejected for the very content of the article is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. And when this happens, it often means the end of the road for that publication. However, it could also mean that the publication was simply not suited to the journal that it was submitted to. Maybe it would have had a better fate in another publication, which was more accepting of articles of that genre. So, sending the article to another publication might engender a better outcome. Additionally, sending this article to a researcher with no vested interest for an opinion would help to give a better idea of the kind of corrections that are required and if the study design is valid.

Articles which overinterpret results or where the text is very convoluted and difficult to follow get rejected more than articles which have more lucid and free flowing text. Just present your study and do not worry about winning literary awards by writing in a language that needs the thesaurus, both to write in and to understand.

The two set of comments that are a definitive end to one's endeavor of getting the paper published are:

No new information on the subjectPoor methodology/study design.

Once these comments start to describe the article, it would be wiser to abandon the path to get this one published and take it as a critical moment of learning to structure study designs with meticulous methodology.

Be assured that taking rejection in the right spirit can only set you on a course of self-improvement. Carry the sting of the rejection, but let it act as a stimulus for action rather than letting it become a festering nonhealing wound, which can only cause you harm. Regrets are exactly what will hold you back.

Use rejections as bookmarks and sticky notes, which will keep reminding you that this was the nadir and you have chosen to fly.

“Rejection is merely a redirection; a course correction to your destiny.”

Bryant McGill.

Keep walking and keep falling down, but do remember to get up and keep walking, whether fast or slow: Towards a defined objective or as an exploration. But do keep walking, you will get there in the end.


1Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].
2Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].
3Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].
4Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].
5Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 09].