Unfortunately, manuscripts are sometimes still rejected after the second or even third round of revisions. This can happen due to multiple reasons, such as:
- The authors may not have adequately addressed all the questions raised by the reviewers.
- When revisions are made, new problems may appear or existing problems may be noticed that were previously missed.
- There might be a disconnect between the opinions of the reviewer and the results presented, especially if the results and conclusions are still not very convincing after one or two revisions.
- The scope of the journal might not have been completely compatible with the study under consideration, and this may not have been discovered until revisions were made.
- There could have been a recent publication/result that was published or presented that rendered the current results obsolete.
If your manuscript has been rejected, it may be better to write to the journal one or two more times before withdrawing the manuscript because the peer-review process and decision will take longer if you submit it to a new journal.
If the journal still doesn’t respond, you can ask your supervisor to write to the editor on your behalf, requesting an early decision since your career progression is dependent on this paper. Because your supervisor is likely to be a senior researcher, if he/she puts in a word on your behalf, the editor might feel obliged to minimize further delays.