Dr Babak Taheri is an Associate Professor in Marketing and Programmes Director in MSc International Marketing Management pathways at Heriot-Watt University. He has extensive experience in quantitative studies including: scale development and scale validation, structural equation modelling (SEM), path analysis using partial least squares (PLS), experimental design and intervention, multiple regression, testing for mediation and moderation).
  1. It is rare that your paper accepted without any revision. So, go ahead with revision in an argumentative fashion but do not get mad.
  2. It is hard to read reviewers’ suggestions without a knee-jerk reaction to defend your paper. It is understandable that you have spent a lot of time and energy on your article. But, this is a scientific debate and it is all about justification of ‘how’ and ‘why’ you have written the article in such a way.
  3. After reading the decision letter from the editor and glance to the reviewers’ comment, you should take at least a day to digest the comments. Do not react to the comments without taking some time off.
  4. It is rational to build a reply to reviewers table. You should reply to the comments point by point and send it back in a structured way.
  5. The reviewers normally ask couple of routine clarification points: (1) your research question; (2) explaining the text or additional text to fill a gap in your paper; (3) strengthening of the method section; (4) request for additional analysis; (5) further explanation of your discussion section; (6) improving your theoretical and practical implications; (7) improving your limitations and area for further research. So, please be prepared for these questions.
  6. You should be cautious that even if the reviewer is wrong, it does not mean you are right. It can happen sometimes that the reviewer either not expert enough or misinterpret your argument. In such a case, please try to improve your manuscript and satisfy the reviewer, but do not say to reviewer how he/she is wrong. Choose your battles sensibly!
  7. You should always respond to each reviewer solely as if there is only one reviewer.  Then, get back to all 2/3/4 reviewers’ comments and try to find commonality among their comments.  It often happens that reviewers ask the same clarification points.
  8. You should be grateful to the reviewers and editor’s time and effort. Remember, reviewers, are volunteered to review and evaluate your paper. So, be polite and thoughtful in all of your replies.
  9. The editor sometimes asks for cutting the text/ a table or copy edit your paper after reviewers accept your paper. The editor might also ask for checking the similarity between your study and previous studies by using software such as iThenticate or Turnitin. Take these requests seriously!
  10. More thought about the final aim, which is an accepted paper, can motivate you to select your battles sensibly and wisely. More detail in your written replies is better than less detail. Do not send your paper when it is under review to the alternative journal. Remember, the second journal might send your material to the same reviewers who first review your paper.
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