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I recently submitted an abstract to a conference and got accepted. However, the full paper to be included in the proceedings has been rejected by just one reviewer with a comment of "manuscript of limited scientific validity". I still can't understand the reason and if this is fair to be judged by just one reviewer. Should I ask to reexamine it?

The topic is regarding the development of a numerical code where I compare the results with the theoretically expected ones. Therefore I do not solve a problem but show that the numerical code works,

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You write:

The topic is regarding the development of a numerical code where I compare the results with the theoretically expected ones. Therefore I do not solve a problem but show that the numerical code works,

The question then becomes from the perspective of a reviewer: What is it about the paper that is novel? If I understand the quote above correctly, then (i) the numerical method you use is not new, (ii) there already exists some theoretical analysis of the method, and (iii) the problem you are solving is also already known. So this sounds like you implemented a code that can solve this problem and produced numerical results. But this is not new in itself -- other people have likely done this before, and unless your paper is about the technical details of this implementation and how they differ from how other people have implemented these algorithms, there really isn't anything new in your paper.

As a consequence, it seems entirely reasonable to me that your paper was rejected: Just doing what others have done before is not science.

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It appears that the reviewer considered your manuscript not to be scientifically valid, i.e. they think the scientific method was not correctly applied or something to that effect.

"Limited" here may be used as a way to soften the message, or it may mean that the reviewer found some parts of the content to be scientifically valid and other parts to be invalid.

Conferences often use a light version of peer review with only one reviewer. Whether or not it is fair may be debatable, but there are often several conferences to choose from in a subject matter.

You can certainly ask this paper to be reviewed by another reviewer. It will be up to the editors (or ultimately the conference organizers) to decide this.

  • Does a single review is sufficient for this? Because I think this is unfair. Of course the manuscript and the work itself can bee further improved, however I don't think that there is lacking of validity. – dimpep May 16 at 8:13
  • If you think the reviewer made a mistake recommending the paper to be rejected, you can bring up the question to the editors. Conference peer review often has lighter requirements than peer review by a journal, and I'm not sure how that balances out with the use of one reviewer. – Jake May 16 at 8:18
  • I ask them to review this again. I didn't tell them that the review from just one reviewer is not sufficient. – dimpep May 16 at 8:20
  • @dimpep Make sure to be as polite as possible when you do it if you do, because the last thing you want is for them to think you’re a crank. – nick012000 May 16 at 11:13
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    I see no reason to believe that a single review is not sufficient. If the paper is bad, a single review is totally fine. In fact, as an editor, if you know that the paper is bad, why bother a second person with it? – Wolfgang Bangerth May 17 at 20:09

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