Handling Reviewers’ Comments for Beginners

Hardly any manuscript gets selected in the very first attempt. And if yours is not rejected then surely you might be asked for a revision. Well, whatever it is, a rejection or revision, you don’t have to lose your heart. Because it is not the end of the world, of course! Beginners tend to lose their heart whenever they get their manuscript rejected or they are asked for a revision. You don’t have to feel bad about it. In fact, there is a way to deal or handle reviewers’ comments in the right way. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced writer, a request for revisions should be taken as an opportunity. If you get a request for revision or resubmission, make sure you do that without fail.

Here in this post I am sharing with you, the tips to handle reviewers’ comments:

Read on…….

pointing hand Take reviewers’ comments as an opportunity even if your paper is rejected

Do not take rejections negatively. Because if you are not open to rejections or criticisms, then your chances of learning something new are compromised. Even if your paper is rejected, just pay attention to your reviewers’ comments. These comments are nothing but the feedback to improve even better. And if at all you haven’t got any comments or feedback from the reviewers, then ask for their comments so that you may know where you are lacking and what areas of improvement are.

pointing hand Check through reviewers’ comments carefully

Well, once you have received the feedback from the reviewers, do go through it carefully. Yes, going through each comment is not only intelligent, but also wise! After doing so, you will know the areas where you need to improve before you send it to another journal. Take it as an opportunity to improve and grow in the field. And you never know when your manuscript will get selected by just paying heed to their reviews.

pointing hand Be polite to reviewers’ comments

This is crucial, even if your ego is hurt, or if you had a lot of expectations with your manuscript, or you totally disagree with the feedback. BE POLITE!! It is very important to address the reviewers’ comments in a very polite manner. Remember that your perception and their perception will never be the same. You should also consider their experience in the field. Preface and end each response with an expression of gratitude. It helps in the long term.

pointing hand Before you submit your response, make sure you address everything.

Sometimes, reviewers raise several different points in a single comment. It is quite common to miss an important point(s). Thus, in such cases it is recommended when you submit your response, make sure you have covered or addressed all the points. Because if you fail to do so, you will again get the same comments from the reviewers, or worse; your paper is rejected for not addressing all the issues. It is a mere waste of their time and your time as well. So, be vigilant in the first attempt.

pointing hand Be open to the reviewers

Sometimes, you may not understand one or more of the reviewers’ comments. Yes, it can happen to anybody and if it happens to you, there’s nothing to worry about. You can simply explain to the reviewer that you couldn’t understand the particular comment or feedback. And even if you have to send your response with the same comment that you couldn’t understand, it would be better to respond with what you think the reviewer is trying to comment on. For instance, you can write your response with – I am afraid that I am unclear…… and explain the whole thing! That’s it!

pointing hand Seek editor’s intervention in case you and reviewer do not agree on a specific point

You may even encounter a situation where you and a reviewer won’t agree on a particular point, even then you should not to lose hope. There is still a way! You can always seek for the editor’s intervention. For instance, the reviewer is repeatedly requesting a particular change and you are not ready to make it for a technical or scientific reason (Read about excluding reviewers). Even after several rounds of review, you two are not reaching an agreement. In that case, it is recommended to raise the issue directly with the editor. You can present your argument to the editor and then wait for their decision. All you have to do is to explain your point as convincingly as possible. However, there is still no guarantee that you will get a positive feedback, but there is no harm in using your rights!


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By Bizhan Romani

Dr. Bizhan Romani has a PhD in medical virology. When it comes to writing an article about science and research, he is one of our best writers. He is also an expert in blogging about writing styles, proofreading methods, and literature.

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