As I recently mentioned, I was recently invited to resubmit a paper despite receiving all negative reviews. In discussions of a similar (but also very different) situation, someone suggested that that this might be a way for the journal to have first dibs on the paper at a later date. This may be very common when journals compete for papers. In this case, there are a handful of similar journals (in impact factor, speciality, etc.) that would be just as appropriate for the paper, so it is feasible that these journals compete. Plus, it is an awesome idea so obviously all the journals would want our paper*.
All these similar journals compete for your submissions in the first place and others recently summarized how you might pick a journal. We chose this current journal because it had a pretty short turnaround time, published related papers and I've never published there before.
This brings up another positive effect for the journal though. They publish the dates of receipt and acceptance and then you judge where to send your manuscript (in part) based on this. By going through a round of reject and resubmit- you can take care of a lot of the big problems with the manuscript. The next round of reviews will be easier to deal with and (in theory) be fixed more quickly.
Therefore, if the journal publishes the receipt date of the resubmission and then the acceptance they can decrease the time to publication and ultimately attract more/better papers.
Unfortunately, this could all be a crap idea brought upon by too much coffee and my increasingly boring dots**. I don't actually know if journals actually publish the original submission or resubmission date. Or if there has been an increase in this decision with increasing competition among journals. Any thoughts?
*You know, except for the 2 that already rejected it.
**I'm almost done, and left the boring samples till the end.