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Responding to Reviewers: It’s the way you say it

August 3, 2015 Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Reviewing, Writing 

how-you-say-it
Nature Methods has a few nice links over on their page about responding to criticism before and after publication.

The way you say it

The dos and don’ts of communicating with editors and reviewers

Here are some of the choice quotes from the first link that I related to, from my experience as an author and as an Editor.

There are several ways to bring one’s disagreement with conclusions of a paper to the attention of the editors and the authors. The best first step is to write a letter to the editor outlining the problem and proposing a solution.

Another possibility for a researcher dissatisfied with the work of others is to build on and expand, rather than disparage, it….

Authors who remain respectful in their disagreement will not alienate the reviewers as they would have done had they lashed out, alleging incompetence, willful delay of one’s work or other conflicts of interest.

In responding to referees’ comments, savvy authors address each query by each reviewer rather than cherry-picking the comments they deem relevant. They abstain from manipulative tactics, such as rephrasing a reviewer’s comment in the attempt to transform it into a statement the author finds palatable.

(Image from http://josephsevier.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/its-about-how-you-say-it-developing.html)

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