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From what I gather there are essentially four outcomes to the review: accepted, accepted after minor modifications, rejected pending resubmission after substantial modifications, fully rejected.

Minor modifications shouldn't require a new full review cycle, maybe just the editor takes a look, or just some quick check with reviewer to see if they accept the change.

Rejecting pending resubmission is for larger changes which require a more thorough review, but the journal is still interested in publishing the paper. This might be a section that requires more explanation, for example more details on how samples were controlled for other factors.

Also as mentioned a full rejection doesn't automatically mean the paper is rubbish, it could just be the journal doesn't consider it a good fit or similar. It's not uncommon for a paper to go through multiple rejections before getting published.

At least that's my understanding based on a close friend who publishes papers, feel free to correct me.




You've pretty much got it, but a paper receiving either of the "accept" outcomes in the first round is extremely rare. I know of zero. Your third, "rejected pending resubmission after modifications" is the normal path for papers that go on to be accepted. Often this is called a "revise and resubmit" or R&R.




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