My paper was accepted with major revision and the 2nd reviewer pointed in a comment that the problem I'm tackling in my paper is not obvious or as important as I'm thinking it is...

Yet, almost all of the references I used point out that this problem is a major drawback! And it was the main motivation to the others (most of those papers were published in the last 3 years, Q1 journals in scimago, ex : IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, some cited up to 200 times)...

So just for the sake of this reviewer, I want to point that most of the references in my paper show that the problem I'm trying to solve is a real one.

  1. So should I write :

The problem X was reported in [ 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8..., 15 ]

  1. Or is there a nice way to say :

In most of the references in this paper, the problem X was reported and was the main motivation...

  1. Or should I just try to convince the reviewer in a separate motivation letter?
  • 1
    Definitely not 3. The reviewer is a proxy for the reader. If the reviewer isn't convinced by your current language, then at least some of your readers won't be convinced either. – JeffE May 6 '18 at 12:47

I would use the first option. If you know the papers which back your position, name them. Maybe not all of them, but three to five. Choose the papers with the most explicit wording and/or the authors with highest reputation in your field.

Note, some citation styles allow to write the list of cited papers more compact, e.g., [1,2,4-8,..15].


I'd refer to a specific list of papers (as in your first option) rather than "most", but I see no problem with adding (as in your second option) that your problem was the main motivation there (provided, of course, that it really was the main motivation).

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