ask a scatterbrain: post-review changes not suggested by reviewers

On behalf of an anonymous reader:

After submitting an article to a journal, I have received a revise & resubmit decision along with two reviewer reports. The changes suggested by the reviewers and the editor seem reasonable and doable. However, it has occurred to me after I received the reports that the statistical model I used has limitations. These limitations had neither occurred to me before, nor were they noted by either of the reviewers or the editor. I think the sound thing to do would be to change the model and the data for this are available, but I am concerned about how this will look to the reviewers and the editor.

Author: andrewperrin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

6 thoughts on “ask a scatterbrain: post-review changes not suggested by reviewers”

  1. I think it generally makes you look like a good scientist–although I suspect the editors and at least one reviewer will and should double check that they agree with your ‘improvements’

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  2. I’ve reviewed hundreds of articles. The authors who impress me are the ones whose revisions show their own evolving improvements in the paper. The authors who do not impress me are the ones who do only exactly what they are told to do by reviewers. In fact, my own person-evaluation of some authors whose papers I initially liked has gone down as I’ve observed them doing the minimum possible revisions in the fact of review comments.

    I think my view is the dominant view, at least among tenured faculty at “top” sociology departments. In fact, my own behavior in this regard (revisions that went way beyond what was asked for) in the face of an AJS R&R) thirty years ago is what provided me the opportunity for upward mobility from my first job in a non-PHD department to a highly ranked sociology department. Two reviewers asked to know who I was and was I interested in applying for a job after seeing my revisions. Not saying that is the norm, but trying to give you an idea of how people respond when they see a paper get a lot better in ways they know they didn’t suggest.

    It is true that somebody will have to vet the new model to be sure it is right. Hopefully you can use colleagues to confirm that before sending the article in.

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