I just got a paper back from review, with a comment from the editor:

"As the suggestions are primarily editorial I deem the revisions required to be minor."

I have been given one week to revise the manuscript and write a response to both reviewers, but unfortunately both reviewers suggest me to do quite some extra work: additional analysis of data, additional numerical experiments, ....

As the editor describes the reviewers suggestions as "editorial", and I have been given only a week to revise the manuscript, I don't think that the editor expects me to do all that extra work (which would be impossible), but how do you deal with this in the response to the reviewers? Is it acceptable to basically say "interesting idea, impossible to do within a week"?

  • 26
    Ask the editor. If they expect you to do the work, ask for an extension of the deadline.
    – user9482
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 14:13
  • 3
    @Roland This should be an answer. I would upvote. Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


The editor has said that they want to publish your paper. This means that having your paper in this journal is of mutual benefit to you and the journal. The editor is not going to capriciously change their mind and reject your paper.

If you can't reasonably implement the requested changes in a week, then it's completely reasonable to ask for an extension. Just explain that some of the requested changes require whatever it is that they require and give an estimate of how long that will take. It's possible that the editor will have some good reason to say no but it's overwhelmingly likely that they'll give you more time or they'll ask you to just make the changes that really are "editorial" and skip the others.

Just ask.

  • 4
    Nice point in the first paragraph. That may be why they glossed over the requests in the first place. Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 18:33
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    "but it's overwhelmingly likely that they'll give you more time or they'll ask you to just make the changes that really are "editorial"; my point is that -- if possible -- I'd really like to steer in the direction of the last option. Its easy to promise to implement all suggestions (and the most likely route to acceptance), but since I have to do most work in my free time (job switch...), I'd like to limit the revision to what is strictly necessary.
    – Bart
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 18:38
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    @Bart Then ask for that, with appropriate justification Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 18:44

My guess is that the editor didn't read the reports carefully and didn't notice that the reviewers suggested significant extra work.

Contact the editor and point this out, and give an estimate of how much time you will need for revisions. (Try to be conservative in this estimate so you don't put yourself in an unnecessary crunch.)

It's up to you to decide whether to actually do some or all of the extra work requested. For anything you don't do, write a response explaining why you don't believe the extra work is warranted. (You might want to consult with colleagues to get another opinion.) The editor and reviewers will reconsider the paper and decide if it is acceptable with the changes you made.

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