Responding to reviewer feedback

Authors whose papers have undergone the review process will receive reviewer comments in a numbered, anonymized format. If you are asked to revise your manuscript, you will be required to submit your revised manuscript (using anonymized track changes) accompanied by a Responses to Reviewers document. Your Responses to Reviewers should detail how you addressed (or did not address) reviewer concerns.

Guidelines for preparing your Responses to Reviewers:

  • Authors should respond to each numbered reviewer comment in the word document provided. Ensure that your responses are distinguished from the comments by placing them below each comment and using a different font colour.
  • Keep in mind that each reviewer read your manuscript independently. Therefore, reviewers may share the same concerns or may have conflicting concerns.
  • If reviewers have similar concerns, you need only provide a response to the first instance the concern in raised (e.g. if the same concern is raised by reviewers 1 and 2, you can respond to reviewer 1 and in your responses to reviewer 2 you can specify “see response number X to reviewer 1 above.”) If reviewers share similar concern please take them especially seriously.  
  • If reviewers have conflicting concerns, you may agree with one reviewer’s suggestion and not the other, and you may specify this in your responses (e.g. in response to reviewer 2 you can specify “alternatively, in line with reviewer 1 comment number X I made changes XYZ.”)
  • Keep in mind that you are encouraged to consider each reviewer comment but you are not expected to necessarily agree with the reviewer’s suggestion—if you disagree with their suggestion and choose not to implement the change please simply explain why in your responses (e.g. “I appreciate the reviewer’s suggestion, however I do not feel this revision is necessary because XYZ.”)
  • Your responses do not have to be lengthy. Responses can simply point to the section of your manuscript where you addressed their concern (e.g. “See revisions on page 2 paragraph 2.”)
  • If reviewers raise a broad concern (e.g. “This paper requires editing for clarity”) your response can simply affirm that you revised your paper accordingly (e.g. “I did a thorough edit of my paper to clarify my language and arguments.”)
  • Remember that your responses to the reviewer feedback will be sent back to the reviewers for their consideration in the second review.

If you are having any difficulties or challenges addressing reviewer feedback—or if you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of comments—please email the Editorial Collective at so that we can advise and support you during the revision phase. We are available via email and can also meet with authors in person at York University to assist you with your revisions.