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Responding to Requests for Revision: A Scenario

By Barbara Gastel | March 27, 2011  | None

Greetings again. I hope that all is well.

Please consider the following scenario:

You’ve submitted a paper to a journal. The editor sends you a list of changes requested by the peer reviewers—and says that if you make the changes, the journal will publish your paper. You think that most of the changes are good. But you disagree with one change, which would distort what you were trying to say.

What should you do?

  • Should you ignore the request for that change? (No; that wouldn’t help.)
  • Should you withdraw your paper and submit it to another journal? (No; that’s wasteful for you and the journal.)
  • Should you make the change, although you disagree with it? (No; that would result in an inaccurate paper.)
  • Should you send the editor an angry message stating that the reviewers are stupid and incompetent? (No, no, no!)
  • Should you politely explain to the editor the problem with the requested change and offer to word the material more clearly or otherwise correct the difficulty? (Yes! Both you and the editor want your paper to be accurate and clear. Working together can help achieve this goal.)

This scenario is discussed at AuthorAID workshops. Yesterday a researcher told me that while attending an AuthorAID workshop, he was facing the situation described in the scenario. He said that after hearing the scenario discussed, he politely and logically discussed with the editor the problem with the requested changeand his paper was accepted. What good news to share!

Wishing you a good week— Barbara

 

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