What you've stated in your first post is very far from the norm in my experience. Granted, I'm not in neuroscience, but I imaging most journals follow a similar proceedure.
I don't know of anyone who submits the article directly to the editor of a journal to evaluate whether it's fit for "official" submission. The process you've described sounds a lot more like the process for getting fiction published. With a scientific paper, you just submit it directly once you and your co-authors are happy with it.
Thats what i was going to do, submit to one. I had it ready formatted for a specific journal, then i consulted my co-author and he said send the abstract round many for feedback. Well he is on research groups himself, so thats what his colleages must be telling him is a good strategy. I have sat one of their research groups. I think some budding doctors, do appear to play this system like a game.
Although i clearly did not follow procedure, the result was that i did got insight into what were the favourable journals without spending a year. Surely this is not a bad way to do things as it saves a lot of time on both sides ? I didnt ask them to review the paper in a formal submission, just to look at the abstract, and provided a link to the paper in case they wanted to take a further look. Then tell me if its suitable for submission on that basis.
Most journals have a screening process. The paper is assigned an appropriate associate editor who gives it a first evaluation and as long as it passes this, he/she sends it out to suitable referees. The referees then give their feedback and recommendation within a few weeks (sometimes this can actually take months). Based on their reports, the associate editor makes a final decision whether to accept, accept with revision, re-evaluate after major revision, recommend an alternative publication, or outright reject.
It appear then that the favourable editor i mentioned has already given it a first evalution as he asked me to send him the name of three referees.
The review process is supposed to be blind - at least in one direction - meaning you're not supposed to know who the referees are who evaluate your work. This is so that they can be free to provide an unbiassed assessment of your work.
Thats what i thought. I was surprised when has asked me to suggest who the referees are supposed to be. I looked up "peer review" on wikipedia and it did say that some editors do in fact ask the author to recommend referees.
When I read that you submitted directly to editors, I'm not suprised that you got cold feedback. It just sounds like you weren't following the standard protocol. I also don't know of anyone who uses the "shotgun" approach of submitting to 35 journals. Any journal that you submit to, you should be an avid reader of. What I have seen happen is that people will submit a manuscript to one, and if rejected try another one or maybe two (which can often be necessary if they're doing work outside of 'standard' issues). But 35? Later in your career, you will have to remember that it will be expected that you review at least one paper for every paper you submit. So if you submit 35 times, you should be ready to review 35 papers.
Glad you told me that. Although, they arent proper submissions, just abstracts sent for suitability approval