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Experts Spill the Beans: Know the 8 key reasons why your dissertation is on way to rejection!

Date : July 27, 2019

Writing a dissertation includes a tremendous amount of effort and dedication. However, penning down a dissertation without aiming to get it published it is like putting in effort in preparing a cake but not baking it. Just like how none can taste the cake, the research community cannot be benefited from your hard work, as well as none can appreciate or criticize your dissertation. I.e., technically, without a publication, the dissertation is completely successful. 

But the fact remains that not all dissertations get published. According to a report, about 52% of the dissertation gets rejected by the peer reviewers or the publishing house. Rejection is common in academics. 

Have a look at the significant reasons that forestall dissertation from getting published

  1. Fails with journal’s aim & scope – Although it is crucial to know the scope of the target journal before the submission of the dissertation, most researchers ignore this process and present their work to the publishing house. Dissertations are rejected at one shot by the journals, even before they undergo peer review process as submitted dissertation does not fit into its aims & scope and is not appropriate for the journal’s readership. Every journal has a definite aim and scope. Hence go through the respective journals website and note down its scope & aim to avoid rejection.
  2. Writing is baffling – Another major reason for rejection is incomprehensible writing. Researchers often end up including too many technical terms or jargon to enhance technicality.  Journals look for dissertations that are written in the simplest way possible, to ensure easy understanding of the concept to the readers. But jargon can complicate the concepts or create confusions. Other reasons like grammar, spelling issues, missing of affiliations, tables and figures, list of authors, etc. lead outright rejection. Thus, the dissertation might end up receiving negative comments irrespective of high quality of research. One approach to overcome this issue is by taking help from peers or reviewers in refining the dissertation before the final submission. 
  3. Inappropriate writing format – Failing to follow the writing standards set by the target journal is one of the most common reasons for rejection of dissertations. Each journal has its definite set of writing rules, which includes font, font size, referencing style, space, margin, header, footer, etc. If the dissertation doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the defined guidelines, it doesn’t get accepted by the publishing house. So it is advisable to check the journal website and note down the writing guidelines and implement the same throughout the dissertation to improve the chances of its acceptance.
  4. Study fails to add value to the journal – Many a time, the topic covered by the dissertation doesn’t seem appealing to that particular journal. Also, the findings of the research might lack weightage and do not make any advancement in the field. In such cases, journals reject the dissertation. In addition to this, the work will not get its acceptance because it is a part of a larger study which has been segregated into small chunks. Hence make sure that your study is unique, has significant results to has the potential to make a difference to the research community and is interesting. 
  5. Poor analysis and presentation – The most important part of the research is statistical analysis. Choosing an apt tool and approach to collect data, analyze and interpret it can be quite arduous. If the right software, method is not selected to perform the analysis, the findings obtained will be questionable. Hence it becomes crucial to ensure that appropriate technique, tool is utilized. Also, care should be taken while representing the data, including the results in the dissertation. Look out for errors such as incorrect, inappropriate labelling of tables and figures, their organization, etc. and eliminate them.  
  6. Mismatch between the introduction and other sections – Good dissertation demands clarity, precision, writing and logical flow between paragraphs or sections. It is also important to ensure proper organization of the structure. The content that is included in the introduction will result in the progress of the rest of the dissertation in terms of purpose, context, scope of the study in the body & conclusion sections. Writing the introduction chapter before drafting other sections would result in missing of essential content or insert extraneous concepts. Hence, upon crafting the entire dissertation go through the claims introduced in the introduction section & other chapters and ensure they match with each other. 
  7. Illogical discussion – It is essential for the discussions to be logical. Majority of the time, the flow of ideas will be disconnected or not well supported, is biased, omits key results from previous researches, present study findings aren’t explained in an impressive manner. Additionally, the significance of the study will be overstated, or the limitations of the study will not be described. In such scenarios, the journals would regard discussion as illogical and reject the dissertation. To avoid this, pay attention to the discussion section and ensure it follows the logical flow and includes key elements.
  8. Violation of research ethics – If the research includes participants, then it is important to take the approval of the participant to obtain the necessary details. Also, the details about the participant shouldn’t be revealed in the dissertation. Upon not taking written consent of the participants (if any), if the research is plagiarized and was not conducted solely, then the publishing house will not accept the dissertation. To ensure that the work is not rejected on the basis of violation of research ethics, present zero-plagiarized research and compile with other research ethical guidelines

Getting a dissertation published in the first attempt is not an easy task. However, by crafting a perfect dissertation, looking out for the journal that publishes the particular type of study, and adhering to its guidelines, one can improve the chances of its acceptance.


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