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Michael Walschots

I've wrestled with this question too and have discussed it with some colleagues. I've also asked a few journals how they feel, and they just give me their policy, which is often that they simply don't re-review revised papers, even if the paper is substantially revised. They do this for good reason - to cut back on huge numbers of submissions and not burden referees with papers that have already been judged (and also it seems inappropriate to reconsider a paper that was not given a revise and resubmit). HOWEVER - if you think you could justify that it's a different/new paper, then you might want to re-submit. It's not clear to me that your paper is new/a different paper - it sounds like a revised version of the same paper. We'd have to discuss the necessary and sufficient conditions of new, revised, etc. papers, but I think you get the idea. Even if it is a new paper, however, unless you receive explicit permission from the journal, you could risk hurting your relationship with the editors, and even wasting lots of time if your paper were to go through the review process and eventually be rejected (perhaps even after positive reviews) because the editors found out it was an 'illegal' resubmission. The safest option is just to submit somewhere else.


I'm not sure if this is the same thing. A while back, I had a paper rejected at a journal and then got an unsolicited follow up e-mail from an editor saying they had published substantially revised resubmissions in the past and I was welcome to take that route. But I don't believe this is part of the journal's official policy.

Part of the reason I don't know if this helps with the question in the OP is that I'm not sure if the editor who e-mailed me was trying to change the verdict to r&r or letting me know about an unwritten policy the journal had adopted. I submitted/published it elsewhere, anyway.

Random Commentator

While there are some Ship of Theseus-style issues about individuating papers, if you're conceiving of it as a heavily revised version of the same paper, isn't the answer clear? The journal editor had the reviewer's comments and didn't ask you to revise the paper and resubmit it. So then why would it be OK for you to revise it and resubmit it? If the editor wanted to allow you to do that, they would have given you an R&R.

Random commentator 2

I think it will not hurt you professionally if you carefully clarify the relation between this paper and an early submission in the note to editors during your submission.

Sometimes this is the best way to go. But most of the times it's not worth the trouble since there are plenty of other journals.

nontenure early career

I contacted one journal before submitting a substantially revised version of a desk rejection, and got a quick response that they will consider it if I believe it to be a substantially different paper. They gave me a fair go after. The paper was ultimately rejected by reviewers but with helpful comments that helped to get it accepted in another journal (after substantial R&R).

I'm not sure that this is representative of how journals work, but I think it won't hurt to ask.

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