Peer-reviewed articles can be rejected for several reasons.
- Style. If an article does not conform to conventional standards of style it might be rejected, even if the content is conceptually sound. If reviewers judge that the style interferes with the reading process, they can reject the article without having read the entire article. It is the job of the author to make sure that style requirements are meet before requesting peer review. Wasting the time of reviewers can damage your reputation and decrease your chances of getting good peer review in the future.
- Content. Generally, style issues should be minor and most reviewer attention should be on the factual and conceptual content of the reviewed article.
- Sometimes reviewers recognize cases of Plagiarism. Except for minor cases of potentially unintentional plagiarism, plagiarism is grounds for rejection even if only a small part of an article is plagiarized. Authors must take care to cite sources of the ideas of others and particularly the quoted work of others.
- Falsification. Authors are expected to accutately report observations. Falsification of data or other dishonesty or deception is grounds for rejection.
- Conflict of interest. Unreported sources of bias or what might be perceived of as sources of potential bias can be grounds for rejection.
- Articles can also be rejected if they are judged to not be significant contributions to the literature.