Tag Archives: Publish

Answering to reviewers

How to answer to reviewers' points, suggestions, comments, rants etc. is something I consider every time I have to answer to reviewers, points, suggestions, comments, and especially rants. The Italian school, as far as I know, is on the very polite side of the fence. You start by writing:

We thank the Editor, Associate Editor, reviewers for the very interesting points, comments and suggestions (not rants) that will surely improve the new version of the manuscript. We are grateful for the possibility of resubmitting the paper (actually we would have preferred a major revision, but apparently the way of the Tao in the last 5 years is rejecting everything and then with some benevolence allowing a resubmission, which is not a guarantee of future consideration and absolutely not of future publication, since as stated in the bottom of the mail coming from the Editor, just before the signature, only 10 to 20% of the submitted manuscripts are getting published in this very selective journal because even in 2013 there is competition for space) and we answered in detail to each and every question, comment, suggestion, point raised by Editor, Associate Editor and reviewers. Thanks a lot again".

Then, in the actual "Response to Reviewers" you start the answers to reviewers' points (90% of the time), with "We perfectly agree with the reviewers" or "We understand reviewer's concern". Which, by the way, is true most of the time. When it is not true you write it anyway because looking for battles when they allowed you out of benevolence to submit a greatly revised version of the manuscript (because the previous one was totally unacceptable and also the Editor agreed with the reviewers) is not the way forward.

Now, how do I like authors to answer to my points when I am reviewing their papers? Do I care about how they answer (dear reviewer, thanks for your brilliant consideration) or only to what they answer (i.e. content)? Well, I'd say that I am much more interested in what they answer with respect to how they answer if how they answer is acceptable. I am very elastic and so far I never had any concerns. I am much more interested in science than in formalism. So, why am I paying more attention than other scientists (given my experience) on how I answer? Does it make a difference? It should not, but.