Dealing with unsuitable submissions

As Associate Editor, the first task you need to fulfill once a manuscript has been assigned to you is to determine whether the manuscript should go out for external review, or whether it should be subject to a "desk rejection". The purpose of desk rejection is to conserve reviewer resources and to save the author time in cases where we believe that a paper is either not thematically well suited to the journal, or would almost certainly be negatively reviewed.

It is editorial policy to allow only one round of "revise-and-resubmit". In your initial evaluation you should therefore take into account not on the thematic suitability of a submission to Language, but also whether you believe that there is a good chance that the manuscript will make it to the "accept" stage after at most one revise-and-resubmit (possible followed by one further round of minor revisions not be sent out to reviewers again). We often receive manuscripts that can make for very good Language articles but that would require signficant work to get the manuscript up to the required standard. In case like that, we should reject the paper with suggestions for how the author can develop the research furhter.

If an AE decides that a paper should be desk rejected, s/he should:

  • Enter a short explanation (similar to a short review, possibly with some suggestions for improvement) in the Reviewer A section. This information will eventually be shared with the author in the Editor's decision letter. So, make sure that you write this with the author in mind. Also please clearly indicate you recommedation that the paper not be sent out for review.
  • Send a message to the Editor assigned to the manuscript to alert him/her about your recommendation - you can do this by clicking on the small envelope icon next to the Editor's name in OJS. If you don't do this, the Editor will not know that the paper is ready for him/her to act upon. Remember, however, that a record of this message will not be saved in OJS. This is why it is really important to clearly indicate your recommendation in the report submitted as Reviewer A.

Please do not make an editorial recommendation in OJS.  (i.e., do not select the “Reject and Archive” option for the paper in OJS). These functions are for the use of the Editor when s/he sends the decision letter to the author.