How an analysis of reviewers' reports can enhance the quality of submissions to a journal of education

  • PC van der Westhuizen
  • JL van der Walt
  • CC Wolhuter



Not only has the number of scholarly journals worldwide increased substantially in recent years but also the number of articles published in them. However, closer examination reveals that the percentage of articles actually published has remained in the region of 25%. This implies that much of researchers’ time and energy has been wasted because of failure to have their research findings published. This has been occurring despite the availability of a surfeit of publications on the theme of ‘How to write and publish a scientific article’. Analysis of the process of article writing and publishing reveals that it consists of four phases: writing and submitting an article, processes followed by the editor, actual review process by the reviewers, and how authors deal with the feedback. A literature survey shows that the last phase has not been discussed in the same detail as the other three. The authors contend that if prospective authors gave greater attention to this phase and learned from the findings outlined in this article, it would lead to an improvement in the quality of future submissions to a journal, of education in this particular case. ‘We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we are to publish your
paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And, as it is unthinkable that, in the next thousand years, we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.’
Reputedly a rejection slip from a Chinese economics journal (Day, 1983:90).


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100