Q: Is it usual for a peer reviewer to demand an executable file to check results?

Detailed Question -

I have just received a decision letter for my submitted manuscript to an Elsevier journal. It was a revise and resubmit. However one of the reviewers asked for an executable file in order to check my results. (I felt distrust from his comment.) Ps. This is regarding a computer science paper.

1 Answer to this question

This is a slightly unusual request, but for a computer science paper, if the author has developed a new application/software,  the reviewer might be asking for an executable file to test the software. If there are no licensing or IP rights barriers, it should be fine for you to share the software. However, if you are unsure and cannot trust the reviewer, you can consider whether sharing a copy or demo version of your product instead of the final product would be a better option. 

When sharing research data along with your manuscript, it is always a good idea to store it in a data repository first so that it is citable and you get credit for it. That way, you can safeguard your data against misuse. Elsevier has a few recommendations on sharing research data (including software). You might want to explore those and perhaps use a repository to share code and software. Additionally, you can find out from your senior colleagues which repository would be the most suitable for the software that you have developed.

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