|Thank the editor and reviewers for the time they spent reviewing your manuscript. Similarly, maintain a respectful and deferential tone throughout your letter. Remember, you want them to like you and your work. Don’t give them unnecessary reasons for tossing your manuscript into the rejection pile.||Don’t get emotional and insult your editors or reviewers. Be respectful and diplomatic in tone since antagonizing editors will not help your case! (See list of useful phrases).
Similarly, don’t respond to a rejection letter right away. Rather, take a break and re-examine the letter with fresh, objective eyes.
|If the rejection is not based on faulty experimental procedures, it’s likely that editors felt your paper would not appeal to its readers. If this is your situation, make sure to carefully and clearly explain how your research would greatly advance current understandings of the subject matter AND be useful to a wide audience.||Don’t take the rejection personally. Remember that a journal has a publication calendar and strategy. Additionally, your research might overlap with work previously accepted by another author, or the journal might feel it wants to move into a new direction based on reader feedback.|
|If your manuscript was declined because of major shortcomings (experimental design or incomplete analysis, for example), explain how you would fix these problems.||Don’t rewrite your manuscript and resubmit as an appeal since your likelihood of successfully appealing is low. If you make substantial changes (like including significant new data), you may you might wish to make a new submission instead.|
|If you feel any or all of the peer reviewers were biased or made technical errors in their assessment, you will need specific and clear evidence to make your case.||In blind review processes, don’t try to guess who your reviewers are. Rather, focus on the reviewers’ specific comments and how those remarks clearly imply a biased opinion or a technical misunderstanding of your work.|
|Focus on the journal’s comments and address them objectively. And like the rebuttal letter, copy the full text of reviewer comments and include relevant responses under each section of the original text (as shown in the template below).||Don’t go off on a tangent by emphasizing things like your reputation or other information that have no bearing on the actual substantive merits and suitability of your paper for the journal.|