My PhD advisers and I have an under review paper in a top tier journal. Recently, I received an email from the chief editor of the journal informing us that the paper has been reviewed and they encourage us to re-submit it.

After one week, I asked my advisers to share the response of the referees with me. Two weeks passed and I did not get a response. So, I sent another email and did not get a response yet.

To give a bit of background, I had informed my advisers that I don't have time to continue working on the paper. That said, it seems unreasonable to not share the referees' response with me (this is primarily my PhD work). I want this paper to be published.

I'm considering directly emailing the chief editor (cc'ing my advisers) and asking for the referees' comments. What do you suggest?

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Edit: I got a response after several weeks. That said, as mentioned in the comment section, I successfully checked the reveiwer's response by logging in the journal website.

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    You sound contradictory. You want it published, but you don't want to work on it. What will you do if you get the referees' comments from the editor? Your advisors' behavior does not sound right, but neither sounds your approach. Imagine they want major revisions - what would you do? Also, for 2 weeks and 2 emails I think you are over-reacting.
    – user151413
    Sep 18, 2020 at 22:26
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    You might check the journal's online submission system. Sometimes (often?) you will be able to see the records for any manuscripts you are associated with, including any reviews.
    – avid
    Sep 19, 2020 at 0:18
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    @user151413 I think I've done this in the past with journals using the ScholarOne system. However I don't have any current active submissions as non-corresponding author, so I can't now verify this.
    – avid
    Sep 19, 2020 at 0:34
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    @avid. Yes, it did work. I just needed to log in to the journal account with my log in info. Thanks Sep 20, 2020 at 2:27
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    @ZeroTheHero. It is perhaps journal dependent. In JMLR, I can see the report of all referees when I logged in. That is exactly what I wanted. Sep 20, 2020 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


It is certainly your right as an author to see the referee report(s). After all, you need to sign off on the final version that the journal publishes, and should want to know that any issues raised by the referee(s) that you agree with were adequately dealt with in the final version. I echo the advice in the comments that you might be able to see the referee comments by logging into the journal management system. However, I've also been a non-corresponding author on papers where I did not have any way to log into that system.

If the corresponding author doesn't respond, I'd try again after a week or so. If they continue to not respond, you can ask again in the moment when your signature is required on the final version of the paper. That's when your request really cannot be ignored.

What I would NOT advise you to do is write to the editor asking for the referee reports. It's good to present the editor with a united front, rather than show them interpersonal issues among the authors.

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