Accept me, accept me not: What do journal acceptance rates really mean?

This study considers what journal acceptance rates can tell a submitting author about a journal and whether the rate is a signal of other journal attributes  – impact or quality, for example.


  • Journal acceptance rates should not be used as evaluative metrics for journals: we find no evidence that acceptance rates are a reliable signal of quality or impact.
  • Journal acceptance rates are useful for submitting authors and ICSR recommends that they be made publicly available where possible.
  • Gold open access journals do tend to have higher acceptance rates than other open access types, but these also tend to be younger journals: as these journals age, will those acceptance rates decrease, or will the open access model influence the acceptance rate?

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