Revise and resubmit guidelines

(Based on Capacious open access journal Revise and Resubmit guidelines licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [CC BY 4.0]).

Responding to Reviewers’ Comments

If you have received a ‘revise and resubmit’ decision the first thing to note is that we mean it: revise and resubmit. Reviewers could have rejected the paper, so do not be disheartened by the decision, but equally, revise your paper. So please assume that each reviewer intended their comments to be helpful.

As such consider the following in your response to reviewers:

  • Be professional in your response. We ask the reviewers to comment in the spirit of creating a generous community, we invite you to do the same in your response.
  • Reviewers generally want to help you get your paper published in CriSTaL and so each criticism usually merits some kind of change in your paper.
  • Make it easy for reviewers to understand what you have done to address their criticisms. If you have addressed multiple concerns by re-writing, or even removing, a whole section, then state what you have done – do not expect reviewers to remember your previous paper and notice the differences. All significant changes should be marked using a coloured font (see example below), and where necessary, in text comments can be used to respond to particular concerns raised by reviewers, such as the deletion or addition of information.
  • Summarise how you have addressed each of the reviewer’s concerns. You can do this in a short paragraph, or in a bullet point form, or in a table, for example:

Reviewer 1, comment 1: “The paper lacks a coherent argument and a clear conclusion, though the ideas seem interesting.”

Response 1: Thank you for your feedback on my argument, I have addressed your first concern by re-writing the introduction to include a much clearer thesis statement, i.e. “insert your thesis.” In addition, I have clarified the conclusion, please see page 5, which in short states “insert your concluding statement.

Marking up changes in text:


Academic staff development work in higher education is typically understood as practical, focused on connecting academic support staff with specialisation in teaching, learning and assessment approaches and theory with academic teaching staff to enable the latter to ‘diagnose’ and address difficulties in teaching and learning. For example, a lecturer who is struggling to engage students in class might consult an academic developer who could observe the teaching, talk to students and the lecturer, and help the lecturer address the problem through practical action.

An important, though often underdeveloped aspect of this type of academic development work, is the use of theory to both understand current practice and provide a way to inform future practice. Yet, the term ‘theory’ can put people on guard, especially theory coming from unfamiliar fields outside of one’s own. Theory can be alienating, and difficult to connect with lived practice unless carefully used. Thus, the term itself needs to be used carefully in engagement between academic developers and lecturers. The emphasis in this chapter will be on how an accessible, useful theory can be used in real-world teaching and learning situations. Legitimation Code Theory (LCT)  tools drawn from the dimension of Semantics will be applied to two ‘vignettes’ drawn from enacted staff development practice in two different academic departments: English Studies and Political Studies. Through this exercise, the chapter will demonstrate the value of academic development work in supporting staff with, as well as illustrating the value of, LCT as a strong example of ‘practical’ theory that can be put to use effectively in enhancing and changing pedagogy in higher education.[SC1]

[SC1]The Intro is significantly reduced, and refocused in response to the feedback.

NOTE: The bold text represents the coloured text of marked up changes.

The clearer your response and the more comprehensively you have taken on board the criticisms the quicker the route to publication.

 You might feel that the reviewer has made a suggestion or criticised something you have written, based on a misunderstanding of your paper or of the literature. In this case (without being too defensive) you have the right to explain carefully why you disagree with the criticism or suggestion. In some instances the criticism or suggestion is based on how you expressed a point, rather than on the point itself. In such a case, you should consider simply making your point/s clearer to readers.

Reviewers may request another round of reviews, they might respond to your response, or you might simply receive another decision from the Editors-in-Chief. Whatever the case your re-submission will be reviewed again, so your response will read and responded to, within six weeks of resubmission.