The past 20-30 years have seen much scholarly interest in English for academic purposes, be it in the form of academic writing, academic English in general, or the various genres characteristic of academic communication in English. Over the same period of time, researchers at institutions of higher education have faced intensifying pressure to publish internationally in high-ranking academic journals. Nevertheless, there has been little research on the publishing process involved. One notable exception is that of Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans (2002), which, on the basis of the genre analysis framework developed by Swales (1981, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000), analyses the 'occluded genre' (Swales 1996) of editorial letters to international journal contributors and specifically studies letters conveying one editor's publishing decisions. Although the criteria applied by academic journal editors in reaching publishing decisions are likely to be of considerable interest to both established and potential authors, there seems to be a lack of studies investigating reasons for non-acceptance. Focussing on such reasons and on the encoding of them in editors' letters to one international journal contributor (and any co-authors), this paper reports on an exploratory and qualitative study of a set of first letters from editors of a variety of international journals in the social sciences conveying their decisions not to publish but to offer the author(s) an opportunity to 'revise and resubmit'. The results of this study may be viewed as contributing to further equipping authors with keys to wield in their attempts to open the gates to international journals. References Flowerdew, J. and T. Dudley-Evans (2002): "Genre Analysis of Editorial Letters to International Journal Contributors", Applied Linguistics 23.4, 463-489. Swales, J.M. (1981): Aspects of Article Introductions. ESP Monographs No 1. Language Studies Unit, Aston University. - (1990): Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. - (1996): "Occluded genres in the academy: the case of the submission letter", in E. Ventola and A Mauranen (eds): Academic Writing: Intercultural and Textual Issues. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, pp 45-58. - and C.B. Feak (2000): English in Today's Research World: A Writer's Guide. Michigan University Press, Michigan.