Handling Editors: Can I reject a manuscript in the Independent Review stage?

As a handling editor, after a preliminary content check, you may either decide to send the manuscript out for review or recommend it for immediate rejection to the Specialty Chief Editor.

In the latter case, the Specialty Chief Editor may confirm the Associate Editor’s recommendation of immediate article rejection due to the following reasons:

  • An objective error (generally accepted by the community)
  • An excessive number of language errors
  • Lack of research quality or ethical standards


The Specialty Chief Editor may, nevertheless, override the Associate Editor's recommendation and decide that the manuscript deserves being reviewed, in which case he/she will assign the article to a new Associate Editor who agrees to send the article for review [Review Guidelines].

If you decide to send the manuscript to reviewers, then you can invite them through the review forum.


If reviewers are assigned to a manuscript, then it can't be rejected until the authors had the chance to rebut their comments.