My paper met acceptance (through email notification from editor) with one reviewer requiring a minor change which is not minor according to my perception and would revise all my figures and results. The detail is:

Editor’s comments:

Your manuscript entitled "xxxxxxxxxxxx" has been accepted for publication in IEEE xxxxxxxxx. The comments of the reviewers who reviewed your manuscript are included at the foot of this letter. We ask that you make changes to your manuscript based on those comments, before uploading final files.

Reviewer 1 comments

Recommendation: Accept (minor edits)

Comments: I think the authors have either answered all my questions or made the relevant revision concerning the suggestions raised by the reviewer. I have no further comments

Additional Questions: Does the paper contribute to the body of knowledge?: Yes

Is the paper technically sound?: Yes

Is the subject matter presented in a comprehensive manner?: Yes

Are the references provided applicable and sufficient?: Yes

Reviewer: 2

Recommendation: Accept (minor edits)

Comments: The responses of the authors are satisfactory. But they can incorporate the sensing error parameter to bring more realistic scenario in their model.

Additional Questions: Does the paper contribute to the body of knowledge?: Yes
Is the paper technically sound?: Yes
Is the subject matter presented in a comprehensive manner?: yes
Are the references provided applicable and sufficient?: Yes

Should I mention that I will undertake the recommendation in my future work? If I do so, can it lead to rejection of my paper after acceptance?

  • 5
    Ask the editor. You'd be making a mistake not to.
    – Buffy
    Mar 8, 2020 at 1:36
  • 1
    The crucial part here is what the editor wrote: They may have made it very clear that the proposed change is a requirement for acceptance; they may have made it very clear that it is not; they may not have been clear at all. Can you please edit your question to clarify?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 8, 2020 at 9:16
  • The question is revised to a more comprehensive form, please.
    – Abdullah1
    Mar 8, 2020 at 10:03
  • 1
    In general, it is not accept until a full accept. If the reviewer thinks that the 'sensing error parameter' is critical to the main idea, then not incorporating it will result in a rejection. Can you argue that the model is already realistic? If not, you could incorporate this error parameter in the simulation (an additional curve to your figures) or in your math analysis (if you have any). Mar 8, 2020 at 18:51
  • 1
    Just a few cents. Straight to the point. Seems that it is IEEE Access- according to the policy in IEEE Access, there is a binary decision. So the editor chooses to accept the paper. It is accepted. Now, it’s your turn to address some of the comments if you can. It says that ‘before uploading the final files’. Here, final file refers to camera ready version uploading via submission system, these files will directly go to the publication department, not to any other reviewers and editors.
    – user199
    Mar 9, 2020 at 4:08

3 Answers 3


Whether you should comply or not should be ruled by asking yourself if doing so will improve your work. If you come to the conclusion that it would improve the paper, you really should follow the advice. Most other considerations such as if it is a lot of work should be very low (if at all) on your list.

As a self-confident researcher the quality of your work should be in your focus. It is therefore never mandatory to follow reviewer advice, but it is mandatory to explain the reasons if you decide against it. If there are good reasons not to do as requested, you can explain it accordingly to the editor. In any case, the editor is the one to convince, so you could discuss your question with her/him.

  • 1
    'the editor is the one to convince' -> nowadays that's not true. Editors are simply 'robots' that wait for all reviewers to click the accept button before they click the accept button themselves. Mar 8, 2020 at 18:55
  • 4
    @ProfSantaClaus That is not at all my experience with editors.
    – Bryan Krause
    Mar 8, 2020 at 19:15
  • 1
    @BryanKrause perhaps the volume of papers has something to do with it. The top journals in my area get a few hundreds to thousands of submissions each month. Mar 8, 2020 at 22:03

Rule of thumb number 1 for replying to referees: Never say "no" if it can be avoided. If I had your case, I would include a discussion (a few lines) of the inclusion of said parameter, and highlight it as a topic for a future article. Then I would thank the referee profusely for giving this suggestion, that it would be a challenging thing to do, and that this is something I would consider further in the future. Given that the paper is already accepted with minor changes, I would not expect the referee to push back on this.


From the sounds of it your paper is not accepted, the referee has recommended acceptance but the editor must finally accept it before it's formally accepeted (at which point the only changes allowed would be formtting issues and typos). As you have minor edits it maybe the referee thinks the changes are small and thus may not want to read the paper again, in which case you only need to convince the editor that the work is not minor. They can then decided whether to ask the referee (or not) for thier opinion on whether to accept without the changes.

  • "formtting issues and typos" dang Rob, they got you.
    – Deipatrous
    Apr 13, 2022 at 12:00

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