How to respond to reviewer comments
Top tips from our in-house research methods experts on responding to your peer reviewers
Meet the author
Christopher L. Pallas
Professor of Conflict Management and Political Science, Kennesaw State University
After your manuscript has gone through peer review, you may need to revise it to address the reviewers’ concerns.
If this is not done sufficiently, it could subject your manuscript to another round of ‘revise and resubmit’, ‘accept with revisions’, or worse ‘reject after revisions’.
So how do you respond to reviewer comments productively? You will be expected to prepare a revised version of the manuscript and write a response letter explaining how you have addressed the feedback from your reviewers.
There can be a lot to consider, so read on for a step-by-step guide to make it a straightforward process.
Things to remember when you receive your review
It’s important to show respect to the reviewers as their comments could improve your work in ways you might not appreciate at first. Recognize that they are subject experts in this process – just like you, so unless the editor indicates otherwise, make sure you address every concern raised.
Also, keep in mind that reviewers are busy and reviewing voluntarily so it’s important to try to make re-reviewing as easy as possible. Ideally, the letter should contain a point-to-point response to all the reviewers’ feedback, and excerpts from the manuscript showing the material that has been changed or added. This will reduce the time spent to dig up the original feedback, to confirm all necessary boxes have been checked.
9 steps on how to respond to reviewer comments
Where to next?
If you’ve found these tips helpful make sure you:
Download our submission and peer review free guide.
Take a look at these 5 expert tips on becoming a peer reviewer yourself to get started.
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