At the end of each review round, authors receive a decision from the responsible editor that is based on at least two reviews. Reviewers and editors may use six decisions:
Accept without revisions
This is the final verdict of unconditional acceptance, usually at the end of two or more rounds of revisions. After acceptance, the paper will be forwarded to the production stage and published online first after the proof has been reviewed.
Accept with minor revisions
This means a conditional acceptance and that a few issues raised by the reviewers and/or the editor still need to be addressed. This clearly signals that the reviewers rate the paper as publishable and encourage authors to "go the last mile".
Accept with major revisions
This means that the reviewers see merit in having the manuscript published, but see the need for significant modifications. Typically, authors are given 30 days for these revisions, which need to be summarized in a separate change sheet.
Reject and resubmit
This recommendation signals that a submission has potential, but that in contrast to an "Accept with major revisions" decisions, the modifications are more fundamental are estimated to exceed 30 days. Authors will need to resubmit their paper as new submission and will receive a new manuscript number. They should indicate that it is a resubmission since the manuscript will be sent to the same reviewers.
The paper does not fit EM in important aspects, e.g. content, length, quality.
Desk reject (decision made by editors)
The editor has identified major issues with the paper and regards the paper as not suitable for EM in its current form. Due to various reasons (too long/short, lacking fit to EM's scope, little novelty/contribution, methodological shortcomings etc.) the likelihood of positive reviews is estimated low and the manuscript will not be sent to reviewers. A desk reject does not preclude a resubmission of a revised paper.
More information regarding acceptance rates and cycle times is available here.