How to respond to reviewers’ comments

  1. Email appears in inbox, ‘your paper has been peer reviewed
  2. Take a deep breath before opening email draft manu
  3. Remind yourself that the paper was not rejected outright – but at least went for review (woohoo!).
  4. Open email
  5. Read through all reviewers’ comments quickly to get an overall feeling
  6. Go and get a coffee/tea to calm down
  7. Reread Reviewer 1’s comments carefully
  8. Decide whether Reviewer 1. made some good points or is a moron
  9. Move onto next reviewer’s comments and repeat 8.
  10. Either feel reassured that these points are all easily dealt with OR feel mounting anger due to idiotic comments
  11. Decide who among co-authors is blameworthy
  12. Draft email to co-authors with analysis of comments (see 10.)
  13. Pick out major points to rework, and call research assistant or student into office to ‘discuss’ with them
  14. Go into colleague’s office and complain ad nauseum about peer review process
  15. Close all emails and go home
  16. Procrastinate on any other tasks for weeks until journal resubmission deadline
  17. Draft snarky retributive replies to reviewers’ comments
  18. Erase snarky bits but remain firm on issues of principle
  19. Pander to all reviewers’ whims – anything to get the paper published
  20. Resubmit in last-minute panic
  21. Cross fingers
  22. Email appears in inbox: ‘Invitation to review a paper…
  23. Rub hands together (peals of evil laughter optional)
  24. Open attached manuscript to start reviewing

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this blog-post are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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6 responses to “How to respond to reviewers’ comments”

  1. David says :

    Note to self: be extra sure next submitted paper is not in a field where Michelle Kelly-Irving is an expert.

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