Q: Is it all right for an author to ask the reviewers questions for clarifications?
How should the editor deal with such situations?
It is alright for authors to ask the reviewers for clarifications regarding their comments. Sometimes reviewers’ comments may not be very clear or they may be difficult to address. In such a situation, authors may require more clarification to be able to make the required revisions.
Generally, peer review is single-blind or double-blind. In any case, authors do not have direct contact with the reviewers and their only point of contact is the journal editor. Therefore, in such instances, the editor should make sure messages are being communicated effectively in both directions. It is the duty of the editor to convey all the reviewers' comments to the author.
Likewise, the editor must also address the clarifications needed by authors: either by providing explanations himself/herself or by conveying the questions raised by the authors to the reviewers and communicating the reviewers' responses back to the author(s).