How Editors Make Decisions
How do editors take the two or three reviews and make a decision?
Decisions made by editors are not strictly “majority rules” or the average recommendation.
Sometimes the most severe criticism is what the editor relies on; sometimes it is the most respected reviewer (e.g., associate editor, particular expert, senior scientist).
In some cases, previous submissions by the authors have not resulted in publishable manuscripts. Given this history and marginal reviews, the editor may opt to reject the manuscript for fear of not receiving an acceptable revised manuscript.
Sometimes the reviewers may have indicated certain concerns---the sum of all the concerns from all the reviewers may be such that the manuscript cannot be revised and resubmitted in a reasonable time, so the editor rejects the manuscript.
Other times, it is a combination of many of these reasons.
Finally, the manuscript may simply not be appropriate for the journal. In these cases, the editor may recommend transferring the manuscript to another journal.
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