Revise and Resubmit or Reject and Resubmit


I was wondering if some more experienced people could give me some advice. Basically, I sent a paper to a good journal and received the reviewers comments three weeks a go. One was non committal, one rejected (aka hated it) and one said impressive and strongly recommended publication.

The editors state that they couldn't publish the paper in its current form but feel it has merits and invited me to respond to the comments made and resubmit to the journal at that time. The paper is then to be sent out for new reviews and a decision made then on the new plus original reviews. The last sentence states 'we hope these comments.....assist you in revising and resubmitting the manuscript'.

I interpreted this as a 'revise and resubmit' decision and cheered myself up by looking at positive tales on the internet!

However, I have just finished doing the changes and resubmitted with a detailed covering letter. When I did so, I notice that my previous submission was termed a 'reject and resubmit' - and now I'm really depressed again as I instantly googled and read 'reject and resubmit' is worse than a 'revise and resubmit', especially if it is going to be sent to new reviewers :(

What is anyone else's experiences or interpretations?



Your experience sounds very similar to the one I had when I submitted a paper last year. The first journal I submitted it to rejected it outright, but sent me the reviewer's comments anyway. So I incorporated all their changes and submitted it to a different journal. Like yours, one reviewer said it was ok, one ripped it to shreds (they even said that they doubted I was english due to the appalling grammar and style!!) and the third reviewer said it made a strong contribution to the field and just needed a couple of minor adjustments. I felt pretty crap about it after reading all the comments, but my supervisors told me to make the suggested changes and resubmit (like yours, the letter invited me to revise and resubmit). So I made the changes, sent it back, and within a fortnight it had been accepted and is now published!!

If they have asked you to resubmit, then I would say it doesn't really matter if they officially class it as 'reject and resubmit' or 'revise and resubmit', the fact is they haven't rejected it outright so they obviously think it will be good enough for publication once the changes have been made. As long as you have made the changes they suggested then I would say you have a good chance of it being accepted second time round. Good luck!!!


Hey Aspiring! I wouldn't read too much into the terminology- some journals use 'revise and resubmit' and others use 'reject and resubmit'- it all amounts to the same thing. The best thing to do is to look at the suggested amendments and see if you think they are reasonable. Usually I would always go ahead with a revise/reject and resubmit- 5 of my PhD papers were 'revise and resubmit' and all 5 were accepted after revisions. Some journals accepted the changes straight away and others sent them back to reviewers again, but they all got there in the end. There has only been one that I didn't respond to because I really didn't agree with what the reviewers were asking me to do- that one I then sent to a different journal. Sounds like you've been able to make the changes suggested, so it's all good! For the record, my PhD supervisor is world-leading in what she does, and she still gets rejected papers and revise and resubmits all the time- mostly because it's a very tricky and controversial topic- but it's nothing to feel disappointed about! Best, KB


The terminology used by the jounals is very abrupt and the first time you see it can be very down heartening. Look at the referees comments and try to address them, most referees are reasonable about things, if you make the changes they suggest it you can usually (in my experience) get it published. The exceptions to this are if there are major critisisms of the underlying idea or method, or if the referees say that they don't believe the paper is suitable/of high enough quality for the journal. In the first case (if you believe the critisism of the idea/method is appropriate and) you feel that the referee is being unfair it may be better to contact the editor and say you feel that the referee is unfair in dismissing the approach and could they either appoint another referee or go off the reports from the other referee(s) instead - obviously this is easier to do if another referee recomends publication. In the second case (where a referee suggests that the paper isn't suitable) there is little you can do, but try and submit elsewhere.


Thanks for your kind words all! I still feel really down about it this morning which I know is silly! I think actually I am more annoyed than anything - a bit like your supervisor Keenbeen, my work is in a controversial and politically sensitive area and I feel upset that my work gets caught up in politics - hence the polarised reviews - and I feel that some of one reviewers comments were unfair and wrong and even biased themselves. So my concern is that if I get two reviewers similar to the negative one the first time round, it will be rejected, if it is two like the original third reviewer, it has a better chance. Why does it take so long??!

Must stop complaining and stressing, must stop complaining and stressing!!


How to do you deal with disagreements with the reviewers? My paper got rejected because the reviewer "disagreed" with my "clear experimental" results. Its a different issue that I got the paper published but one has to realize that the review system is quite subjective and in some cases reviewer personality influenced.


One of my friends wrote a 30-pages explanations to deal with the disagreements.
Fortunately, the editor agreed and his paper was accepted for publication.

However, some editors might send the paper to a more critical reviewer...


Dear All,

I started a new thread and posted this msg but perhaps it is relevant here….

Does anyone have similar experience as me or can share their own view on this? I submitted an incorrect version of manuscript to a journal by mistake. I submitted this version on Day 1 and within a few hours it was Day 2, and I noticed the status said that it was with the editor.

I released my mistake and resubmitted the right version through the publishing group of the journal (they have a support system for researchers in case of any issues). This is because once you submit, the system doesn't allow you to make any changes by yourself.

Now my question is that what are the chances that the editor who was assigned already read the old file and took a decision to send it out for review or reject? The status changed to with editor almost immediately within a few hours after submission but does this necessarily mean that they have seen it?

Will the editor only have access to the new manuscript or also the old? Since it is not a resubmission based on a reviewers report, to my understanding they can only see one submission file…only if it goes through review process they have the original and the revised files.

Also, since the file was changed, I am able to see and download only the latest file on my online submission system.

I would like them to see the new version and consider that. I also informed the publishing assistant who uploaded my current version and she said that it will be the current version they will consider. I am a bit concerned that what if the editor already made a decision?

Any similar experiences and/or your thoughts? please share….