Manuscript submission and review

Manuscript submission
and review
Submission overview
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journal rules
pre-review
cover letter
types of response
post-review changes
accepted, what to do?
Journal Rules
• Length
• Formatting
– Subsections
– References (number/format)
– Order of sections
Pre-review
• A critical part of the manuscript writing
process.
• Not only improves quality, but sends
message to editor/reviewers.
Cover letter
• For editor only, usually not reviewers
• Critical for high impact journals.
• Compare:
Dear Editor,
Please find attached a manuscript entitled
„...“ to be considered for publication in your
journal.
Yours sincerely...
Cover letter
Dear Editor,
Please find attached our manuscript entitled “Habitat
modification alters food web structure”, to be considered
for publication as a Letter to Nature. Our manuscript
provides the first replicated, quantitative demonstration
of the consequences of human habitat modification for
networks of feeding interactions among species. These
changes are likely to have large functional
consequences, but would be difficult to detect using
conventional approaches to quantifying biodiversity.
There has been a recent surge of interest in the potential
effects of global change on species interactions, and the
ability of ecosystems to resist these perturbations.
Quantitative food webs provide a powerful tool to allow
us to answer such questions, but to date they have been
used to describe individual communities. Consequently,
the structural changes to ecological networks that may
occur following human impacts have remained unknown.
Cover letter
We solicited pre-reviews from a number of world
leaders in this subject (see Acknowledgements).
All were enthusiastic, not only for the exciting
results, but also for the methodology, which they
felt marked a long-awaited turning point from the
use of food webs as descriptive tools, to their
use as replicated units for hypothesis testing.
We are confident that this manuscript, when
accepted, will be widely and frequently cited for
many years.
Yours sincerely…
Types of response
Accept
without
revision
Good
Minor
revisions
Major
revisions
Reject
following
revision
Reject
without
revision
Bad
Types of response
Accept
without
revision
Good
Minor
revisions
Major
revisions
Reject
following
revision
Reject
without
revision
Bad
“Thank you very much for submitting your manuscript “…" for
review by Ecology. The reviewers and I appreciate the work
you have accomplished. Based on the reviews, we are willing
to consider a revised version for publication in the journal,
assuming that you are able to modify the manuscript according
to the recommendations.”
Types of response
Accept
without
revision
Good
Minor
revisions
Major
revisions
Reject
following
revision
Reject
without
revision
Bad
“I have received two reviews of your manuscript “... The
reviewers and I appreciated seeing data from an open-field
system… The reviewers' comments were generally positive, but
each made several suggestions that could further strengthen
this paper. I highlight a few key constructive criticisms below. I
will need to see that you have carefully addressed each of these
concerns, and indeed all points raised by the two reviewers,
before reaching a final decision on the manuscript's
acceptability for publication in Ecology.“
Types of response
Accept
without
revision
Good
Minor
revisions
Major
revisions
Reject
following
revision
Reject
without
revision
Bad
“Please find enclosed the comments from the referees who
have evaluted your ms O15380 for Oikos. I am sorry to report
that the EiC of Oikos has decided not to accept your ms for
publication. I hope the closed comments may be of value for
you.”
Types of response
Accept
without
revision
Good
Minor
revisions
Major
revisions
Reject
following
revision
Reject
without
revision
Bad
“This is the kind of descriptive ecology that explains little and
predicts less. Try a more specialised journal.”
Reviewer responses
• Criticism is meant to be constructive and overall
peer review should improve your work
• Some reviews can even be very hurtful
• DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
• Respond to all the criticisms that you consider
valid, but be prepared to rebut any that you think
are pointless, or just plain wrong.
Post-review changes
• Again a cover letter is needed.
• Compare:
Dear Editor,
Please find attached a revised version of our
manuscript. We have addressed all of the
reviewers‘ concerns.
Yours sincerely...
Post-review changes
• Dear Editor,
Thank you very much for your consideration of our
manuscript and request for a revised version. We have
copy and pasted all reviewers’ comments below, and
address each one individually. As you will see, we have
made every attempt to incorporate these suggestions as
thoroughly as possible. Unfortunately, the reviewers
requested additional analyses and material, which added
length to the manuscript…
Post-review changes
• 2) Several ideas are presented in the first paragraph of
the introduction and it would be clearer if this large
paragraph was divided according to the main idea
discussed. Also, the topic of the second paragraph is
broached in one part of the first paragraph and these
discussions should be merged.
• - We have now restructured the introduction as suggested by
the reviewer.
• 3) That habitats could vary in temporal turnover (a major
point later on in the paper) is not brought up in the
introduction, or at least not brought up clearly, it should
be. Also, it might be helpful for the authors to mention or
discuss some of the reasons why temporal turnover in
diversity might occur (e.g., strong seasonality, etc.)
• - We have now emphasized this point more in the introduction
(P.3 L.8, P.3 L.16 - P.4 L.1, also Hypothesis 1).
Post-review changes
• Avoid the temptation to be argumentative (even
when the reviewer is wrong).
• Make all requested changes unless you have a
significant reason not to.
• If you don’t agree, try to cite references to
support your argument.
Accepted, what to do?
• You will need to upload a final version with
publication quality figures.
• After some time, proofs will be sent.
• Start thinking about the next manuscript...
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