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Requirements for Responding to Editor and Reviewer Comments

Requirements for Responding to Editor and Reviewer Comments

The AATS Journals require a thorough Point-by-Point Response in this 3-part structure:

  1. List the verbatim individual comment by the Editor, reviewer, or Editorial Office staff member.
  2. Provide a response to the comment.
  3. Quote the changes made to the manuscript. Also provide the line numbers of where the changes can be found in the Marked Copy. If no changes were made, please explain why.
    1. All comments must be responded to individually.
    2. Authors should use different-colored font to differentiate between the reviewer’s comment and the author’s response.
    3. Be sure to cite the line numbers of where the respective changes can be found in the marked copy.

Expert Tips for Responding to Peer Review Comments

  • Utilize the Point-by-Point Response letter as another opportunity to posit the importance and potential impact of your work.
  • Begin the response letter with a concise summary of the revisions, highlighting any reanalysis or follow-up that was completed.
  • To help contextualize the response, feel free to include any relevant, pertinent tables and images that are not necessarily a part of the manuscript itself.
  • If you disagree with a reviewer's assertions or objections: Thank the reviewer for raising their concerns, and then provide a rebuttal backed by scientific data.
  • If a reviewer provides a suggestion that is beyond the scope of the paper: Politely reiterate the papers’ focus and scope.
  • If a reviewer is confused by something in the paper: Remember that this confusion will be mirrored by the readership. Make appropriate changes to the manuscript to avoid future confusion.
  • If reviewers have identical or near-identical questions for the authors: Refrain from saying “See response to Reviewer X.” Instead, copy-and-paste prior responses, fine-tuning them as necessary to fully answer the present question.
  • If word count restraints are making it difficult to make suggested changes: Utilize supplements, figures, and tables to cut down on the amount of text. Do not cite word count limits as a reason to avoid manuscript changes.
Responding to Reviewer and Editor Comments. Presented by Tara Karamlou at the AATS 102nd Annual Meeting