Edited by Timothy Clark, Mike Wright and David J. Ketchen Jr.
Chapter 18: Challenging the gods: circumstances justifying the protest of a journal rejection decision
Young scholars, new to the organizational sciences field, learn early on about the process through which their research gets published in scientific journals. It is called the “peer review process,” it has been in operation for decades, and it is used in virtually all academic disciplines. Essentially, the publication fate of scholars’ work typically rests at the hands of an associate editor and several anonymous reviewers, who presumably are knowledgeable about the subject matter of the scholars’ work. It is their collective judgments about the quality of the work being reviewed, and perhaps its subsequent revisions, that determine whether the research is published in the journal or rejected. Therefore, it is fair to state that the field grants great deference to the evaluations of research by these “gatekeepers” in the peer review process. So, given this process, and the esteem it is granted by the field, it might seem quite inappropriate to question or challenge/protest a decision to reject your paper. Indeed, I would agree that, in most cases, scholars need to accept the outcome of the peer review process concerning their research paper they submitted for review – whatever that decision might be. However, I am arguing in this article that there are situations or circumstances that arise where it is legitimate to challenge or protest a rejection decision by a journal editor or associate editor.
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