Does Journal Impact Factor Impact Rejection Rate?

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Does Journal Impact Factor Impact Rejection Rate?

There are several components that come into the picture when you think of submitting your research paper for publication. One thumb rule that cannot be overlooked is that the nature of your research should match with the scope of journal that you are targeting. Apart from that, the scope of the research paper being accepted, impact factor and promptness are significant factors that are of significance for potential and existing research scholars eager to publish their papers.

The impact factor is of utmost significance as several researchers, including institutional committee members who make critical decisions related to promotions, awards and funding. They are of the opinion that research that is published in journals with high impact factor and also having a greater rejection rate make a major impact in the topic being researched. In addition, getting a research paper published in a high impact journal is very challenging but the rewards are huge. A researcher who has his research published in a high impact journal has more scope to acquire funding or enter into beneficial collaborations with other researchers or research agencies.

The Link between Impact Factor and Rate of Rejection

A report published in 2015 in the open access publisher Frontier report implied that the rates of rejection were very high in many journals that had low impact factors. But as per other credible reports and findings it was observed that there is no apparent association between impact factor and the rate of rejection.

Also there were shortcomings in the report that was published by Frontiers. The drawback was that there was no link between the data that was presented. The following issues were observed in the report.

  • No distinction was made by the report between languages. This is simply because any journal publication that has English as its language will certainly have an impact factor that is relatively high as compared to journal publications in other languages such as; Chinese or French.
  • It was also observed that the report made a comparison between journals from medicine, material science and nanotechnology with those of architecture, mathematics and statistics.
  • The report also did not make any distinction between publications based on subscriptions or open access journals.

Quality and Scope

While the rate of rejections were said to be quite high for some journals, there were simple explanations to such rejections. These rejections occurred due to; lack of adequate space for publication, research paper quality and the scope of the journal. The issue of space rings quite true for journals that are leading or known to be considered as high impact journals as these are journals that receive a large number of research papers. The inflow of manuscripts is so high that it becomes difficult for the journal to accommodate them and as a result, leads to rejection.

However, quality and scope can also impact journals that are considered as low impact journals. If the journal is indeed a low impact journal, they are not under any compulsion to publish all the research papers that they receive. If the papers they receive are not up to the mark or do not match the scope of the journal, the journal is bound to reject it.

Therefore, the report published by Frontier cannot be considered as a hard fact. It is open to arguments as there are several factors that are taken into consideration while accepting or rejecting a research paper.

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