ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2018) 59 SK1.5 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.59.SK1.5

How do I respond to peer review?

Colin Farquharson

Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Having spent many months, if not years, obtaining and analysing your data you are ready to submit your manuscript to your preferred Journal. There is one step though that is often over-looked; responding to reviewer’s comments i.e. the peer review process. This can be challenging to all but especially those who have not experienced the process before. There are however some golden rules, that if followed can make the process easier and result in your goal of getting your manuscript accepted for publication. The outcome of the review process can be rejection before (at triage) or after review, major or minor revision or, on the rare occasion, accept. If you are given the chance to revise your manuscript, view the reviewer’s comments as a positive opportunity to improve your submission. The majority of reviewers want to help, not criticise and their reports are vital in enabling you to improve your paper to make it the best it can be. Acknowledge what can be improved and be prepared to do more studies/analysis. The reviewer’s reports may contain comments that you strongly disagree with, or you consider simply wrong. First, get over it and control your anger and resist the temptation to reply in an aggressive tone. Rather, seek first to understand what the reviewer wants and this will make it easier for you to respond. Respond completely, politely but avoid conflict and don’t escalate. Where possible look for compromise however, you can disagree with the reviewer’s comments and suggested edits provided you can explain and preferably backed up with evidence. In your final rebuttal, provide a detailed, point-by-point response detailing changes made and where in your manuscript and consider carefully the comments of the Senior Editor. Remember what you want, winning vs publishing. Pick your battles!

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