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The Paper Rejection Repository

Nobody likes to receive a letter from the editor of your favorite journal letting you know that your paper was rejected. Some journals have begun including reviewers’ comments with accepted papers to make the views of experts available to the reader. However, often the paper has been submitted to several journals and rejected before it is finally accepted. The rejection letters and comments are equally useful in helping to judge what kind of papers might be acceptable to a journal, and what kind of comments lead to rejections. Rather than hiding these low points in the trajectory of a scientific paper, this forum offers a place to publish these letters and comments to educate others.

If you would like to post your own rejection letters and comments, please log in (register on the page first), click on ‘Upload rejection’, fill in details requested on the form and attach a PDF containing all the material you would like to share. If you cannot answer the questions posed by the captcha on the registration page, please email Nikolaus Grigorieff for help.

Please remove any information that might be regarded as confidential and post only rejections of papers that were ultimately accepted by a journal.

For some background on this repository, please read our blog post on The repository was also highlighted in posts on Science Careers and The Scientist.


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Posted On Title Rejected By Ultimately Published Insort icon
28 Jul 2010 Molecular interactions in rotavirus assembly and uncoating seen by high-resolution cryo-EM Science 2009, PNAS 106:10644–10648 @
14 Dec 2010 Atomic model of an infectious rotavirus particle Science 2011, EMBO J. 30:408-416 @
2 Mar 2012 Nucleotide excision repair (NER) machinery recruitment by the transcription-repair coupling factor involves unmasking of a conserved intramolecular interface NSMB, Mol. Cell 2012, PNAS 109:3353–3358 @
14 Sep 2012 Cryoelectron tomography reveals doublet-specific structures and unique interactions in the I1 dynein J. Cell Biol. 2012, PNAS 109:E2067-76 @
31 Aug 2012 Movies of ice-embedded particles enhance resolution in electron cryo-microscopy PNAS, Nature Methods 2012, Structure 20:1823–1828 @
13 Dec 2013 Opposing dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons control the duration and persistence of copulation in Drosophila Science, Nature, Neuron 2013, Cell 155:881-93 @
13 Dec 2013 Structure of the Ribosome with Elongation Factor G Trapped in the Pre-Translocation State Nature, NSMB 2013, PNAS 110:20994–20999 @
10 Jun 2014 Taura syndrome virus IRES initiates translation by binding its tRNA-mRNA-like structural element in the ribosomal decoding center Nature 2014, PNAS @
16 Sep 2015 Peptide dimer structure in an Aβ(1–42) fibril visualized with cryo-EM Nature 2015, PNAS @
18 Jul 2016 Ribosome•RelA structures reveal the mechanism of stringent response activation Cell 2016, eLife 5, e17029 @