I am in the enviable position of receiving an anonymous review from an extremely knowledgable member of my academic community and am incorporating all of their excellent suggestions into my article. Quite rightly, I want to flag the examples and suggestions they have provided me with, but at what point does this get embarrassing and look like sucking up? I don't want too many footnotes with, "with thanks to an anonymous reviewer for this..." but at the same time I don't want to pass of their extensive knowledge as my own.
It's minor revisions and the editors have said they will not be sending the article back to the reviewers. So I'm not including their suggestions because I have to appease a reviewer, but because they're actually great bits of wisdom.

  • 16
    The obvious solution would be a respectful one-liner in the acknowledgement section. What is not satisfactory about this solution to you? – Alexis Jun 20 at 9:54
  • 7
    @Alexis (+1) I'll add: You could go further and explain what particular aspects they helped improve. (There's no need for footnotes throughout, just an acknowledgement at the end.) – user2768 Jun 20 at 9:57

An ack is all that is needed. "Thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions, many of which were very helpful". Don't try to point out where those suggestions occur or your paper will be difficult to read. You retain full "ownership" of the paper so write it like it is the work of a single mind. The reviewer almost certainly sees it that way.

About one time out of, maybe, ten thousand or so, a reviewer's comments are so helpful that the nature of the paper changes and it becomes appropriate to find a way to work with the reviewer as a co-author.


I agree with the suggestions of a single acknowledgement rather than a multitude of footnotes. But you might consider putting the acknowledgement not at the end of the paper but at the end of the introduction, where readers will encounter it before encountering the things the referee contributed. Also, I would include in the acknowledgement a list of specific places where the referee made a significant contribution. For example: "I thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions. In particular, I thank one of the reviewers for suggesting Examples 3 and 8 and Corollary 5, as well as for simplifying the proof of Theorem 22."


Dmt, the peer review comments and suggestions are a gift to you. They are given to you to help improve your article as a gift. Reviewers volunteer their time and expertise as a contribution to their academic field. You are allowed to do with it what you will.

An email to the editor thanking the reviewer specifically is another option. As others have said, highlighting specific aspects that the reviewer improved in the acknowledgement is enough.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.