Friday FAQs on O&G

Answers to frequently asked questions provided by the Obstetrics & Gynecology editorial staff.

Friday, August 16, 2013

What is an Editorial Rejection?
Raquel Christie, Editorial Assistant
Raquel Christie, Editorial Assistant
Recently, the editors instituted a procedure for “Editorial Rejection,” an accelerated decision process aimed at providing fast feedback on papers that, unfortunately, don’t obviously fit the mission or standards of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Manuscripts may be editorially rejected for the following reasons:
  1. Basic Science: The journal strives to publish studies that offer practical recommendations for the practicing clinician. Manuscripts that report a basic science study without an obvious translational message may be more appropriate for a journal that emphasizes basic science findings.
  2. Outside the Journal’s Scope: Sometimes, submitted manuscripts cover topics that are outside the scope of Obstetrics & Gynecology and may not be of interest to our readership. The editors may recommend an alternative journal to consider or provide tips on how to improve the manuscript before submitting it elsewhere.
  3. Not Novel: Some manuscripts report findings that have already been well-documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and which add no new information.
  4. Low Response Rates (in Reports of Surveys): Surveys with response rates (less than 50%) are unlikely to provide reliable information about the topic.
When an editor thinks a paper should be editorially rejected, she or he sends it to a member of our Editorial Board. The Editorial Board member reads the manuscript and conveys agreement or disagreement with the editor’s proposed decision. If they are in accord, the editor presents the manuscript at our weekly editors’ conference call with a recommendation for editorial rejection. If the other editors agree, the decision and comments are sent to the author. This process usually takes about a week—much speedier than our 4-week full review and editor decision process. We feel that this allows the author to turn the paper around quickly for submission to another potentially more appropriate journal.
If, however, the Editorial Board member thinks the manuscript merits further review, the editor is required to send the manuscript through our traditional process, including a full Editorial Board review and additional expert reviews, for more input before making her or his final decision.
This Editorial Board approval aspect is a new procedure for Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the editors feel it is important because it helps ensure that papers aren’t editorially rejected without justification.
Does an “Editorial Rejection” decision automatically mean your paper is terrible? Absolutely not. All it means is, for one of the reasons listed above, it’s just not a good fit for Obstetrics & Gynecology. Our hope is that the quick feedback of an editorial rejection will give you ample time and enough insight to improve your manuscript and find it a better home.