Everyone who submits a manuscript for peer review dreads one thing above all else: getting rejected (though the gentlefolk among us journal editors prefer the phrase “decline to publish”). There are many reasons why a manuscript might be rejected, and a good understanding of the reasons can help you make sure your manuscript has the best chance possible of acceptance.
To be publishable in a scientific journal, a paper must meet four important criteria:
Most of this book is dedicated to the quality of the writing, with the goal of improving the writing sufficiently so that a manuscript would not be rejected on that basis. This chapter will focus on the other things a journal editor will look for.