Q: How to respond to confusing peer reviewer comments?
I received the following reviewer comments which were a bit confusing and difficult to answer: 1. The treatment could have been altered to suit the research question better specially with regard to the experimental group. 2, 3. There are also some strong claims about the novelty of the study!
Reviewer comments can sometimes be quite challenging and difficult to understand. In this case, the comments seem to specific to the study and it will be hard to provide a complete answer without understanding the research. As per my assessment, the reviewer feels that there is a gap between the research question and the experiments performed to answer them.
In this case, it is best to perform additional experiments suggested by the reviewers and revise the manuscript accordingly. If this is not possible, please provide a good rationale why you think your experiments sufficiently support your results. As for the second comment, the reviewer seems to be dissatisfied with the novelty of your data. Please carefully review all literature associated with your work and try to highlight the precise novelty.
Please strictly refrain from making unsupported claims as these are highly discouraged and likely to receive harsh criticism from reviewers. Also, revise your manuscript and try to answer as many reviewer questions as possible to increase your chances of acceptance.