Editorial requests and author decisions: to revise or not to revise the work? Dr. Bagali, Centre for Research in Human Resources and Higher Education,Study Aboard Advisor, Map my study, India


When you finally hear back from the editor of the journal to which you submitted your work after weeks or even months of waiting—six months to one year in a high-profile journal, you find out that the response is disappointing in comparison to what you had hoped for. The good news is that this is not a definitive rejection of the paper. However, the editor as well as the peer review team have stated that your work must be modified before it can be seriously considered for publication. The good news is that it is in line for publication at a later date, once the observations are worked out. Instead of being enthusiastic about your paper and ready to publish it as soon as possible, they have stated that this modification is essential to raise the quality, relevance and standard of the presentation of the paper contents and information. No matter how level-headed you are, this is not a pleasant situation to be in. You have to give yourself some time to reflect on what was said to you and figure out what steps to take next. You have two options: (1) ignore the comments and drop further communication with that journal; or (2) accept the changes or observations and rework the document, and justify any piece of correction if it is not accepted by you. Keep in mind that the editor as well as the reviewer team invested their time in providing positive criticism, which demonstrates that they were engaged in the topic, scanned the entire work, and made some meaningful observations positively. A whole experience has come your way to enhance your paper quality and contents. When viewed in the appropriate light, even the most severe criticism might turn out to be a boon; for example, if you make the suggested changes, your paper may be more competitive for top research paper considerations, or you may be able to expand on the ideas presented in the paper to secure substantial funding for a future research project.

If, after reading the comments, you decide that you still want to publish your work in the journal, you will need to consider what aspects of it you may alter in order to make it more consistent with the ideals. When faced with decisions of this nature, it can be helpful to keep in mind that anything that contributes to the improvement of the paper is a positive thing to do. To conform to the requirements of the journal, it is obvious that you will need to make modifications to the overall format, including the style, contents, and citations and referencing style. In addition to this, you need to make modifications to the language that you use so that your meaning is more understandable and your study is simpler to comprehend and more compelling to your intended readers.

Things get more complicated when changes are made to the paper itself, such as the method that was employed in your study, the results that were gathered, and the conclusions that were drawn from it. These may need more of your time, and they may require you to rethink your results in new ways and report them in new ways. Your personal involvement is a must, and you may have to work on your own in this section. While you are considering the implications, you might find it helpful to discuss them with an experienced colleague or guide before you modify. On the other hand, it is up to you to determine what, ultimately, will be most beneficial to both you and your paper. It is essential to bear in mind that editors and readers frequently view new and unexpected work that questions traditional models and interpretations as being on par with substandard research.

Finally, consider if the changes that have been suggested would be beneficial to the most important aspects of your work or whether they would be detrimental to those aspects instead. In certain predicaments, the solution will be obvious, but in others, determining the appropriate action to take will be notoriously challenging. Many times, careful consideration, innovative concessions, patient regard for other people’s points of view, and a clear explanation of your intentions will be helpful; but there are instances when the only solution is to write somewhere else. Consider your most recent thought. In my experience, my papers got polished because I paid close attention to what the Editor had to say about my articles. Much to say, a few of my works won Best Paper at the National level after the Editor(s) suggested minor revisions and updates. Let the noble thoughts come from whatever best sides !!

Dr. Bagali can reach @ dr.mmbagali@gmail.com


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