Q: How to respond to reviewer comments asking for major revisions?

Detailed Question -

Our manuscript has received major revisions. We have done whatever the reviewers have asked. How to respond to the comments?

1 Answer to this question

You should always provide point-by-point responses to the reviewer comments in addition to incorporating the reviewers' suggestions in your revised manuscript. What this means is that you will have to copy each of the reviewer comments into a word doc followed by your response to that specific comment. If there are a large number of comments, you can consider grouping them together. But make sure you do not avoid or skip any of the comments as this is likely to annoy the reviewers. When you send your responses to the editor, you should begin the email with a note of thanks and then either copy the point-by-point responses into your email or send the response document along with the revised manuscript as attachments.

Here are some typical points to bear in mind when responding to reviewer comments:

  • Organizing the comments: If you haven’t already done this and if you consider it worthwhile, you may put all the comments in a spreadsheet to help you track and respond to comments. This also helps you group similar comments and respond to them as one, such as about formatting. However, you needn’t share this file with the editor; this is more to help you in your effort.
  • Responding to comments: If there are some comments that you haven’t addressed (because you don’t agree with them), provide a good reason for why you haven’t done so, including citation if needed. You may also do this for comments you have addressed in a detailed manner.
  • Getting agreement of all authors: As you have mentioned ‘we,’ I understand there are multiple authors on this paper. If so, ensure that the changes have the approval of all authors. This is to avoid any possible authorship and contribution disputes arising later, which may delay publication of your paper.

Here are some excellent resources on how to respond to peer review comments that you will find helpful. All the best for your manuscript!