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Getting Science Papers Published: Where It's Easy, Where It's Not

Chemists, astronomers, or physicists looking to publish in one of their discipline's scholarly journals stand a far better chance of having their submissions accepted first time around than do anthropologists, psychologists, or sociologists. This conclusion combs from independently undertaken studies reported on earlier this year, which found that, in general, journals dedicated to physical sciences have markedly lower rejection rates than do publications geared toward the social sciences. One o

Christopher Anderson
Chemists, astronomers, or physicists looking to publish in one of their discipline's scholarly journals stand a far better chance of having their submissions accepted first time around than do anthropologists, psychologists, or sociologists. This conclusion combs from independently undertaken studies reported on earlier this year, which found that, in general, journals dedicated to physical sciences have markedly lower rejection rates than do publications geared toward the social sciences.

One of the studies—reported on in the American Sociological Review (volume 53, pages 139-51)—claims, for example, that some chemical journals reject only 15% to 20% of papers submitted; on the other hand, the ASR report points out, an important political science journal—the American Political Science Review—has been known to reject as many as 94% of its submissions over a period of time. Meanwhile, another study—reported on in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (volume 100, number 626, pages 506-08)—concurs...

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