Video: How to receive and address peer reviewer comments with minimal stress

How to receive and address peer reviewer comments with minimal stress

As a researcher, you most likely find it stressful to receive unfavorable peer review comments on research manuscripts you work so hard on, even when the reviewer has shared constructive feedback. Learning how to receive and address feedback is a crucial skill for researchers, especially since any new body of work they produce should and will be subjected to rigorous scrutiny by peers throughout their careers.

It is only natural to feel anxiety or, sometimes, a sense of foreboding when you receive a journal editor’s decision letter with reviewer comments attached. Is there a way to get through this experience with minimal dread, resentment, or stress? Yes, according to Erin Owens.

Find out how in this video. It is an excerpt from the webinar “Author and Reviewer Experiences: Building a Bridge of Empathy” organized by Editage during Peer Review Week 2021. In this video, Erin Owens, a professor, an access services coordinator, and a scholarly communications librarian at Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Texas, shares her experience of dealing with negative peer review comments and minimizing the associated stress.

Here are some practices that she has found helpful as an author:

  • Assuming that the reviewer has the best intentions
  • Sincerely and objectively considering the changes suggested by the reviewer before deciding to accept or reject them
  • Appreciating the time and effort the reviewer has put in to read your work and give feedback
  • Expressing appreciation and gratitude toward them in your response to their comments

These practices can not only help you maintain your mental health and improve the quality of your paper but also allow you to radiate positivity toward your reviewer, which can make them feel valued.

During the webinar, Erin also shared valuable tips on how reviewers can be empathetic toward authors and how journal editors can foster a positive environment encouraging compassion among both reviewers and authors. To see the full webinar recording, click here.

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