This article explores how persuasive discourse is developed in research articles published in competitive journals. Although a considerable number of studies have been made on academic writing, little is known about the detailed review processes of editors and reviewers. The current study examines how these key players evaluate submitted papers and what they evaluate. The findings are based on qualitative investigation of 13 international academic journals and quantitative corpus analyses on 102 research papers. The results indicate that there are specific ways of developing persuasive discourse and negotiating effectively with academic authorities.