How To Use and Reply to Journal Editor and Reviewer Suggestions

How To Use and Reply to Journal Editor and Reviewer Suggestions
What To Do When the Revisions Requested Will Compromise Your Scholarship
No scholar would deny that an academic or scientific author goes through a less than pleasant experience when an article submitted to a scholarly journal fails to be accepted for publication. Sometimes a piece of work is simply the wrong fit, in which case submitting the document to a different journal is the answer, although the format may need to be adjusted slightly to meet the new guidelines. At other times the author instructions have not been followed carefully enough or the language of the paper is unclear, awkward or contains too many errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation. These problems will require a little more effort, but can also be resolved relatively easily, particularly if the author engages the services of a professional proofreader or editor.

When, on the other hand, an editor’s rejection is based on criticism of the content – the research, methods, findings, conclusions, implications and the like recorded in the text – the author is faced with a much more difficult and challenging situation. It is essential not to make snap decisions when news of this kind arrives. Allowing yourself time to absorb and accept the information both emotionally and intellectually is necessary, and successfully surmounting the emotional hurdle will facilitate more effective negotiation of the intellectual challenges. Consulting a trusted colleague or mentor who knows your subject area well and has publishing experience is very wise. The input you receive will help you view your own work more objectively, and as much objectivity as possible is vital.
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If the editor and peer reviewers who have assessed your article have also bothered to give you detailed commentary, it is a sign that the journal is interested in your research and has already invested considerable time and energy in it. That alone is a good reason to consider the criticism seriously and make the suggested changes if possible. Not all criticism is constructive, however, and not all the changes suggested by even the most qualified reviewers will actually result in improvements. It is entirely possible that upon reflection you will decide that you simply cannot accommodate all the suggestions without compromising the integrity of your research and analysis.

If this turns out to be the case and you still wish to publish your paper in that journal, it is best to make as many of the desired changes as you feel you can. When you explain these changes to the editor, it will be clear that you have made a sincere effort to accommodate the journal’s needs, and the news that you will not be able to make all of the changes will probably be received more positively. Be sure to explain exactly why you cannot make certain changes, being specific about each point and why it is so important, and it might also be helpful to suggest that your article will in fact suit the journal better and contribute more effectively to the advancement of knowledge by remaining as it is with regard to those points. This strategy has been known to work, so it is certainly worth a try, but if it is unsuccessful, you can still use the criticism you received to improve your paper and increase its chances of successful publication when you submit it to a different journal.

Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.

Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.

If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.

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