I am wondering if I should follow the advice of my co-advisor or a relative of mine who is also a researcher and used to write a scientific paper in the same field (but currently with less experience then my co-advisor).

I will make it a bit more clear:

  • I am a Ph.D. student in CS, specifically in networking, I wrote a scientific paper that I have sent to an Elsevier journal.
  • Last month, the journal replied to my submitted paper and requested a major revision; so I know that I have a bunch of rework to do.
  • One of three reviewers was complaining about the contribution and evaluations/simulations that I have done, while the other two didn’t complain in the same manner.
  • Following to this and in order to make it clearer for the complaining reviewer, my co-advisor advised me to add a small simulation/evaluation to my paper to clarify the contribution and justify why we considered various scenarios in terms of scale.
  • In the meanwhile, I asked a relative for help, he said that it is not a good approach to add this simulation/evaluation since no reviewer asked for it, and could be harmful to my work/my chances to being published.

While I can agree with my relative about adding a non-requested work, my intuition pushes me to follow my co-advisor, since this is a little work that can clarify, justify more the need for considering various scenarios (which I have done and the reviewer didn’t understand why I did it).

  • Ok, to say it in a correct way, it is my co-advisor not my advisor anyway he acts like if it is one, since my advisor does nearly nothing. I corrects the post
    – HanniBaL90
    Mar 4, 2018 at 11:06
  • My parent is nearly in the same-field, he is a networking guy
    – HanniBaL90
    Mar 4, 2018 at 11:16
  • 1
    A relevant answer; and another one
    – user68958
    Mar 4, 2018 at 11:56
  • 2
    FYI, I suspect that the word you're looking for is "relative" rather than "parent"; I think you're being misled by the similarity with French parent. (And if he really is your parent, then the usual word for a specifically male parent is actually "father".)
    – ruakh
    Mar 5, 2018 at 0:01
  • @ruakh you are absolutly right, I Will correct it and yes it is a relative
    – HanniBaL90
    Mar 5, 2018 at 6:34

4 Answers 4


I would want to answer this based on my recent published collaborative work on a research paper.

We were in a similar situation where one reviewer was not convinced with experimental evaluation. However, I along with my collaborators came up with an idea to include a small simulation [#] to justify our procedure for kind of experiments that we had conducted with the hardware.

In fact, the new simulation study was included to the paper as a separate sub-section under "Results and Discussion" section. We submitted the revised article, and all the reviewers were pretty convinced with the new results and discussion section.

So, if you want to add something new, make sure that it really is closely related to your work. It should not diversify your present story that is conveyed by your manuscript.

[#] This simulation has to be related to the work you are doing. For example, if you are doing something on security protocols in network, then you could add a simulation showing the energy efficiency.

  • I am working on routing protocols, I tested protocols performances and small and large scenarios, but what my co-author advise is to re-do a simulation under a small scenario, while changing the position of my Acces Point (AP). So I guess that it is still very relevant to my work ;). Anyway thank you for your valuable answer
    – HanniBaL90
    Mar 4, 2018 at 12:49
  • 1
    @HanniBaL90 I m sure your co-guide is asking the right thing to do in this case. Good luck!
    – Coder
    Mar 4, 2018 at 14:14

As somebody in a different area of computer science, I find it hard to see how including a little more true, relevant information could possibly be harmful. The reviewers think your paper is worth publishing with revisions. The worst case I can see is that, when you submit the revised version with this extra unsolicited material, the referees ask you to remove it again.

You can always mention your parent's opinion to your co-authors and see what they think.

  • What you said above is totally true, but I thought that reviewers may doubt of my work if I decide to add something in my ow. Anyway, I don't want to mention the mind-conflict that I have to my co-authors. Thanks ;)
    – HanniBaL90
    Mar 4, 2018 at 12:47

Your issue seems to be a social rather than a scientific one...

You commented this

Anyway, I don't want to mention the mind-conflict that I have to my co-authors

Why not? What else do you have your co-authors and advisors for if you cannot use their experience?

In another comment you mention something about an advisor not really being an advisor.

Furthermore, the fact that the conflicting input came from your parent should not be of any relevance. In an academic discussion your parent is a fellow scientist and their opinion should be weighed as such.

So, my unsollicited advice would be to get your act together. Do you feel a loyalty conflict between your parent and your advisor? Get over it. Is your advisor not helping you? Deal with the issue.

You need to feel comfortable asking for help/input/advice to those who want to help you. And you need to feel comfortable with not implementing the suggestions you get if you have solid reasons.


By no means you are restricted by what the reviewers said.

Often I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do in a paper, end up sending it "incomplete", and then add it after it gets accepted. Including in places where there is only one round of review (some conferences).

As long as you don't drastically change the contents of the paper, it's fine. It's a journal anyway, the reviewers will go over it again.

Personally, I feel the opposite of your relative, I like when the authors don't take the comments literally, but rather understand what is motivating the comments and go an extra mile to make the paper better.

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