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This is my first publishing experience (field: social sciences). I have an article accepted for a journal (sage publications) after minor revision. I have undergone the proof read and revision stage (submitted my proof and responding a week ago and my open-access option).

But today, I received an email from the editor asking for further revision (actually, a challenging one). The editor writes that there was a miscommunication on the journal's side and I shouldn't worry because my paper is still "accepted." I am writing to ask if this is a rare situation? Do you really have to go through another process of revision?

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Yes

Ultimately nothing gets published unless the editor(s) approve of it, so if they request revisions you'll have to make them.

As for whether it's rare, the answer is also yes. Usually there are no more revisions requested after a paper is accepted. The underlying reason this is happening is, as the editor says, a miscommunication on their part. People are more likely to communicate correctly than incorrectly.

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I won't comment on how rare it is other than to guess that for something major it is pretty rare - and a bit odd. But until you have something that can be considered a contract where you are, they can require it. Not knowing the actual request, it is impossible to say if they would be justified in withdrawing acceptance if you don't comply. There might be some regulatory reason for the request, in fact.

Probably you should do this, unless you are willing to withdraw the paper and submit elsewhere. But you need to judge whether the request is reasonable. If so, it might be in your best (career) interest to make a final revision.

One option that is open, is to discuss the situation with the editor and determine the reason and the necessity.

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  • Hi, thank you for your insightful answer; much appreciated. What is a contract for journal publication? I have received an acceptance email from the journal editor and signed the open-access contract. Are these considered some sort of "contract"? Aug 2 at 21:08
  • What constitutes a contract varies around the world and I'm not a lawyer in any case. But if you signed away your copyright then you probably have a contract. If you do have a contract and they insist on the changes before publication and you don't agree, you need to deal with cancelling the contract and getting your copyright back. The idea of the "contract" is that you gave them something of value (the copyright). So they likely owe you in return. But regulations/laws might intervene depending on the nature of the requested changes.
    – Buffy
    Aug 2 at 22:16

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