My paper has been rejected – what next?

Please read the below for more information about next steps if your manuscript is rejected.


If you believe that your article has been rejected unfairly please submit an appeal (rebuttal) letter via your Author Center on the journal’s online submission system. Do not try to submit a revised version of your article at this stage.Appeals must be submitted within 30 days of the rejection decision.

Appeals will only be considered if all specific points of the reviewers’ and editors’ comments are addressed in the rebuttal letter, and decisions will only be reversed if the editors are convinced that the decision was a serious mistake, or if the reviewers made errors of fact or showed evidence of bias. Appeals against editorial fit or the journal not being the right journal for the article are unlikely to be considered. If it is thought that the appeal is warranted, the article, reviewers’ comments, and author’s response will be reviewed internally by the editorial team. The editor will decide whether to invite a resubmission, send it to another external reviewer, or uphold the original decision. In all cases, the editor’s decision is final.

Transfer your manuscript

If a manuscript is rejected at any stage of the process, the author can opt to submit it to another BMJ journal. Authors can elect to have their manuscript transferred upon initial submission. If the manuscript is rejected, authors will have 5 days to change their mind before the manuscript is transferred; they will be contacted by the editorial office to confirm that they still wish this transfer to take place.

Provided the author wants to continue, all versions of the manuscript, any supplementary files and peer review comments will automatically be transferred on the author’s behalf.

Once the transfer has been completed, the author will be asked to confirm the submission. The editor of the journal may choose to have the article reviewed again or make a decision based on any previous reviews. There is no guarantee of acceptance.

Click here to find out more about our list of journals.