The aim of this paper is to provide a number of reasoned and evidence-supported arguments and a list of recommendations for reducing the impact of academic rejection. A brief literature review examined the prevalence and negative impacts of academic rejection including its purported purposes, predictors, and consequences. Findings revealed that the topic of academic rejection is largely under-studied, with very few empirical investigations. The extant literature typically places the onus on the individual academic to deal with rejection. Few articles have recommended institutional changes to ameliorate the known mental health impacts of rejection. We propose that the discovery and dissemination of knowledge are among the core purposes of academia, and that scholars are far more likely to contribute through institutional and systemic support. Several elements of the current approaches are contraindicated, thus, we recommend several changes, at both the individual and institutional levels to reduce opportunity costs for grants and funding, improve the publication process, and promote academics’ mental health and wellbeing. When examining academic rejection through the lens of effective learning, the vast literature of feedback can support important changes to how publications are accepted and rejected. Considering the limited literature pertaining to academic rejection, we present recommendations for changes in how academic performance can be evaluated, for the benefit of both the academy and the mental health of its members.
Recommended CitationAllen, Kelly-Ann; Donoghue, Gregory M. Dr; Pahlevansharif, Saeed Dr; Jimerson, Shane R. Professor; and Hattie, John A.C. Professor, Addressing academic rejection: Recommendations for reform, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(5), 2020.