Deal respectfully with reviewers comments

The system of peer review, wherein anonymous reviewers funnel comments about your typescript back to you through the editor, is rarely a wholly pleasant one no matter how common it is. Even if you have carefully followed all of the suggestions in this book, be prepared for the possibility of negative reviewer comments.

The worst thing that you can do, should critical reviews appear, is to treat them as an affront to your professional image. Instead, calmly and carefully evaluate all the comments received, point by point. Make the suggested changes that seem to have value. Review those that seem wrong. If a reviewer misunderstood you, try to determine why. The misunderstanding may reveal a weakness in your argument or analysis, or a spot where the writing is weak.

Return the revised typescript to the editor, accompanied by electronic copy if requested. In your letter of reply to the editor, respond to each reviewer comment in turn. Indicate acceptance of those suggestions that seem to have merit. If you chose not to accept a reviewer's comment, indicate why not. Diplomatically and briefly explain your reasoning concerning suggested changes that you feel are unjustified. Avoid anger and any tendency to sarcasm in your responses. Editors sometimes pass your comments back to the reviewer, to whom you may not be anonymous. The world is really a very small place.

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