Responding to peer reviewers’ comments is challenging even for the most proficient authors. Peer reviewers occasionally leave lengthy comments, making it difficult to identify the precise points that require fixing.

At first, you may feel as though the reviewer did not fully understand your paper or had high expectations, and you might feel offended. It is vital to give yourself some space if you’re feeling this way rather than responding to the comments while you’re still upset. Over the next few days, read the comments again multiple times. You can understand the reviewers’ points of view from many aspects as you continue to read them with an objective mindset, and hence can respond to them.

Make an effort to determine the reviewers’ primary issues. For instance, are most of the comments directed towards your employed methods? Did the reviewers have any problems with your interpretation of the data? Do you have any more information that you could use to bolster your arguments in the manuscript? Start structuring your comments once you have determined the reviewers’ main issue.

If the reviewers’ remarks are lengthy paragraphs, break them up into discrete points so you may respond to each separately. If a given comment has the potential for different readings, start your response by outlining what you have taken the comment to mean before moving on to your point of contention.


  • Consider consulting your co-authors or a colleague who knows your work.
  • Respond to each comment in its entirety. Mention if any comments have already been addressed or if a specific suggestion is not within the scope.
  • When you disagree with a comment or proposal, respond politely.
  • Cite sources when appropriate and include supplemental or unpublished data to support your claims.
  • Resubmit the document as soon as possible, making clear any modifications you made in response to the reviewers’ comments.


  • Don’t debate every remark. It could be simpler to incorporate the reviewer’s small revision suggestions than to make an argument for them if they are simple to implement and don’t significantly alter the significance of your work.
  • Do not interpret a critical reviewer comment as a personal jab. Try to approach it as best you can while maintaining a neutral viewpoint.
  • In your rebuttal letter, omit words like “we completely disagree.”
  • Don’t refuse the reviewers’ request for the original/raw data.

Authors often opt without responding to the reviewers’ comments and instead submit their papers to another publication when submissions are rejected following peer review or when the reviewers’ remarks appear too tough to respond. Even in these situations, it is advised to make as many revisions to the manuscript as possible in light of the comments. Doing so can increase the likelihood that your subsequent submission to another magazine will be accepted.

158 thoughts on “Do’s and don’ts for responding to peer reviewers’ comments”
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