We have been discussing what should happen if a peer reviewer receives the same manuscript she reviewed for a different journal that rejected the manuscript. One of our commenters asserted the following:
Identical submissions to 2nd/3rd/4th choice journals suck! I thought the whole point of having reviewer comments was to improve the paper, but apparently not.
I responded as follows:
Depending on the circumstance, this can be completely false. If the paper was rejected, not because it had scientific flaws, but because it was of "insufficient broad interest" to the perceived readership of a particular journal, there is absoulutely nothing whatsoever wrong with resubmitting the identical manuscript to a journal that perceives its readership as being of narrower scope.
And BTW, if you have never had a manuscript rejected for this reason, you are not aiming high enough.
Ponderingfool argued that rejection not for scientific flaws, but for perceived "breadth of interest" should be rare:
Such reviews should still be rare. You should have a good sense of where your work belongs. Disagreements will occur, which is fine but if you can't be objective enough about your work, you are just wasting your time. Experiments needed for N/S vs. a more specialist journal do differ. Writing styles are also different. Revisions take times as do additional experiments.
This is totally false. Review at high-end journals is extremely capricious and non-objective, and so one's ability to predict what will fly and what won't is exceedingly limited. Accordingly, in order to successfully publish in those journals, you need to expose yourself to the possibility as often as possible.
If your papers are being routinely accepted with only minor revisions, you are almost certainly not aiming high enough with the journals you are submitting to. If you want to publish in high-end journals, the sweet spot to aim for is that only about 1/3 of your papers should end up accepted at the journal you originally submit them to, and the rest should have to filter down.