Q: Can you help me understand this comment on my review article that received a minor revision?

Detailed Question -

My review article received a minor revision with one of the comments as follows: “The advantages, disadvantages, and synergy of each strategy need to be compared with [a] similar reported method. The results should be summarized and presented.”

My question for the first sentence is: What does ‘similar reported method’ mean?

My question for the second sentence is: As my article is a review article, I believe the results are already ‘summarized and presented.’

1 Answer to this question

This seems to be a systematic review. However, it’s not clear if it’s a qualitative review or a quantitative review. Without knowing the kind of review it is and also the exact content, it would be difficult to respond, at least not with a great degree of certainty. However, based on the information provided, here is what we think.

What does ‘similar reported method’ mean?

This could mean that the reviewer wishes you to use some existing (well-known) methodology or that which most researchers in your field or for this topic usually do.

Aren’t my results already ‘summarized and presented’?

This could mean that the reviewer wishes you to use some kind of statistical analysis, utilizing necessary calculations. This could be the case if you did a qualitative review and they instead want you to do a quantitative review. Also, you need to only summarize the findings and not present them in an extensive table. Additionally, by presentation, they could be referring to including a graph.

However, all this could be guesswork and not entirely accurate. What you could do is write to the editor confirming your understanding or seeking clarification about the comment. And don’t worry about this. Editors are quite used to responding to discussions between authors and reviewers, and should be able to help you in this regard.

One final thing. You have said that this is a ‘minor revision.’ If the reviewer and/or editor too said that this is a minor review, that’s fine. However, if they haven’t explicitly said so, based on the exact meaning of the comment, you may also wish to check if it’s more than just a ‘minor revision,’ that is, perhaps a ‘major revision.’ Again, we are only hypothesizing here. You would do well to check all this with the editor.

Good luck with the next steps!

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