Editors reject a large number of manuscripts after a preliminary review, often because the author’s presentation does not provide sufficient reason to proceed further. The fundamental issues for an editor are whether an article or book will be read, and whether the contents are credible. In this roundtable, three experienced editors and a university librarian will discuss what editors look for in a manuscript and missteps that can lead to early rejection. The panellists will also discuss decisions authors need to make regarding open access and self-archiving, and the significance of impact factors, article processing charges, copyright and the Creative Commons, mega-journals, and bogus publications for scholarly communication and individual academic careers. The session will include time for those attending to ask questions and discuss their experiences with publishing.