1

My manuscript was favourably received, with a recommendation to publish after a minor revision. However, after submitting the revised version, the Associate Editor (or Editor-in-Chief) responded:

Please benchmark your manuscript against recent articles in [other journal] to increase the relevance of your manuscript to the journal's readership.

What does this mean?

Does this mean the Associate Editor (or Editor-in-Chief) doesn't like my manuscript?

  • I‘m a PHD student, my PHD supervisor was pretty hands-off, and I don't know what to do now. – H. H. Jun 18 at 3:36
  • When they requested that you benchmark your manuscript against other articles in a journal, did they recommend that you benchmark it against other articles in the same journal that you submitted it to, or was it another journal? – Nat Jun 18 at 4:50
  • I could eventually understand compare, but not benchmark. Contact your supervisor and the editor. – Alchimista Jun 18 at 11:01
  • (i) Minor revision; (ii) same journal; (ii) I did some calculations with citation data from Journal Citation Reports and found out that the journal self-citation rate (2017-2018) was less than 10 %. I find several published papers (in 2019) were a little similar to my manuscript. So, I mentioned these recent published papers in the revised manuscript. Finally, the manuscript was accepted. Thank you for your help. – H. H. Jun 20 at 1:58
3

First, are you sure this is a reputable journal? Avoid publishing with disreputable journals.

The editor is requesting that you compare your results to recent results published in the same journal. It is normal to expect that you compare your results with previous work, however, it is a bit odd that the editor specifically requests that you compare with work from the same journal. Perhaps the editor is attempting to inflate the journal's citation statistics. It is also possible that the editor knows the journal has published multiple relevant papers you should have mentioned in your submission, but did not.

If you can identify similar papers from the journal with which you can compare your results, do so. If you cannot find any similar papers, you may have selected an inappropriate journal for your work.

  • I understand. Thank you very much. – H. H. Jun 18 at 4:06
  • (i) I did some calculations with citation data from Journal Citation Reports and found out that the journal self-citation rate (2017-2018) was less than 10 %. (ii) I find several published papers (in 2019) were a little similar to my manuscript. (iii) So, I mentioned these recent published papers in the revised manuscript. Finally, the manuscript was accepted. – H. H. Jun 20 at 1:54
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I work as a manuscript editor for a medical journal. I suggest writing back to the corresponding editor and tell them that you would appreciate more direction. It is part of what they do--help new authors figure out the publication process. It will not change your acceptance and it is better to have the request explained fully rather than risking another round of edits if you don't do exactly what they intend.

  • Thank you very much. Finally, the manuscript was accepted. – H. H. Jun 20 at 1:58

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