My field of research is computational materials science/mechanics. My work is on the "numerical modeling of shot peening process". This is a typical publication in my field. My work is not very numerically intensive and is application based. I implemented a damage model in Finite element analysis.

Now, whenever I submit my work to computationally intensive journal like Computational Materials Science, it gets desk rejected citing "beyond the scope of the journal" as the reason for rejection.

However, when I submit to applied journals like Surface and Coatings Technology and Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, it gets accepted without much review. I just get few minor questions and it gets accepted.

Typical review comments involve:

  1. generic questions about the modeling technique used (mesh size, boundary conditions, constitutive equations used), which are more of clarifications rather than any deep questions.
  2. Comment about adding a figure or a simple explanation for a statement in the paper.
  3. Question about the future work and implications on real life application.
  4. Rest are about typos in the manuscript.

Is the low level of review questions a reflection on the quality of the journal? Am I submitting my papers to wrong journals?

Papers similar to my work are published in the journals mentioned.

Note: my question got deleted at Academia.SE so that is why I hoped it could be welcomed here.

  • $\begingroup$ I have added the overall content of the review in the main text. $\endgroup$
    – johdep
    Commented Dec 5, 2020 at 17:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AnoopANair as TheSimpliFire's comment shows, the question was asked at Academia.SE and was deleted quite quickly there. So the question does not belong on Academia.SE and we are probably the community best able to help the user. Perhaps you could replace your comment with just the "+1 Nice question!" part as that comment might be attracting close votes to this question. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani AcademiaSE considered it not an appropriate question for the community and voted for deletion. $\endgroup$
    – johdep
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani There is only the option to delete my comment which I'd do in demand to the situation. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ I think at a SE you will only get a very vague answer to your question. People may point out that you should avoid predatory journals, that you should choose the same journals as your peers (from what journals are similar papers you cite), look for a high impact factor and so on. But I assume that you also have co-authors, most importantly your supervisor. This is a question that has to be discussed with these people. They probably have a lot of experience in publishing in that field. They know the relevant journals. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


In summary, your papers on the numerical simulations of shot peening processes were rejected by Computational Materials Science but easily got through the review process at Surface and Coatings Technology and Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, and you are wondering:

"Is the low level of review questions a reflection on the quality of the journal? Am I submitting my papers to wrong journals?"

First of all, one of those journals where your papers are getting accepted with ease has a significantly higher impact factor than the journal where your papers are getting rejected (3.8 vs 2.9, which is quite a big difference for journals with this range of impact factors). So it is unlikely that this is a reflection of the quality of the journals, and is more likely a reflection of your choice of journal where you submitted the paper.

The two journals that you say are accepting your papers with ease, have very specific titles, and seem to be much more appropriate for your specific area. The journal where your papers are getting rejected (Comptuational Materials Science) has a much more generic name, and therefore might look at first sight like they equally welcome all types of "computational materials science" papers such as your own ones, but upon closer look at the other papers typically published in that journal, they have a much stronger focus on ab initio quantum-mechanical modeling of materials or molecular dynamics simulations (computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, condensed-matter physics, solid-state physics, etc.) much more than computational macroscopic materials science which seems to be more of what you are doing (the "typical paper" in your field, which you showed us, is about physical properties of steel in the "macroscopic engineering" setting of aviation engineering). Computational Materials Science is a journal that seems much more aimed at microscopic modeling of materials even though the title might make it look like it welcomes papers from all areas of computational materials science.

It usually does no harm to look at some of the papers in the most recent issue of a journal, and even write to the editor an informal inquiry about the suitability of the journal for your paper, before formally submitting the paper, since this can save you the loss of time (and energy and enthusiasm!) associated with having a paper rejected.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your comment and suggestion. For my next submission, I will carryout the informal inquiry about the suitability of the journal. $\endgroup$
    – johdep
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 9:07

I think you may be not clear on how to find a suitable journal for your paper. I suggest that you can copy the title and abstract, then paste them to the websites of Elsevier or Web of Science. These websites will recommend which journal you should submit to.

Elsevier and Web of Science


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