Appealing a Rejection
6.1.8 Appealing a Rejection
If a paper is rejected, authors occasionally ask for reconsideration, usually because they believe the reviewers or the editor have misjudged the importance and quality of the submission. This situation can be viewed in 2 different ways. On the one hand, peer review and editorial decisions are based on fallible human judgments. Mistakes can be made, so perhaps the rejected manuscript merits reconsideration. On the other hand, heeding appeals for reconsideration may fulfill the adage “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Reconsideration of papers solely on the basis of author complaints could be unfair to authors who have equally legitimate grounds for reconsideration but who do not appeal. Thus, some journals take the position that rejections are final. Other journals reconsider rejected submissions at the discretion of the editor who made the initial decision. Such discretion usually would include consideration of whether the authors provide objective grounds for reconsideration of the original decision, particularly if they can provide new data or new analyses, as opposed to differences of opinion about editorial priority (see 6.1.2, Assessment Criteria, and 5.11.5, Ethical and Legal Considerations, Editorial Responsibilities, Rules, Procedures, and Policies, Editorial Responsibility for Rejection).