I sent a manuscript for publication last month and I just got it back with major revision. There were two reviewers who peer-reviewed the manuscript and both seem to have different opinions regarding the content. One reviewer asked me to omit a graph as he/she deemed it to be useless and didn't add to study narrative while another one commented on improving the graph. They also have different views on sample size of my experiment. One of them though our sample size was small while another one agreed on sample size with only improvement on statistical analysis conducted. They also had divided views on study design. One of them thought our study design was flawed and we should go back to the lab to perform additional tests while another reviewer thought our study design was okay with only missing statistical analysis.

How should I approach this?

  • (1) What did the editor say you should do? (2) to omit a graph as he/she deemed it to be useless and improving the graph suggest that both reviewers found the graph not very useful in its current state – Mark Jan 20 '18 at 22:45

If the editor said which reviewer to follow, obviously do that. If the editor didn't say anything, then my experience is that he or she just wants to see what you think. For example if you think it's better to improve the graph than to remove it, improve it, and then write your reasons for doing so and / or a rebuttal to the first reviewer in the response to reviewers.

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  • It seems quite some work in both cases. Either you discuss with the Editor or better modify your paper as you think it must be done. Then use the referees comment to enforce your view. Like "r1 suggest deletion but we think.......because...... This is the same as r2 suggested" and so on. The accompanying letter will be crucial. It could be so convincing that the ms might even be not resent to refs. – Alchimista Jan 21 '18 at 10:04

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