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Recently I reviewed a submission to a journal. The editor even sent me an email saying the review was received. In my review I suggested correction of several minor mistakes but there were also a couple major ones that in my view needed to be addressed before acceptance for publication. Whenever this happens (at least taking in account the papers I have submitted to other journals) the authors make the first revision, then the revision is sent to the reviewers again, so they can look at the second version of the paper and see if they agree with the revisions, right?

Well... I learned today that the paper was published without returning the second time. I found it weird, is that normal?

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  • 3
    'my revision' -- whose paper is it? It is possible that an editor bypasses you. I've had my reviews ignored for whatever reason. At the end of the day, editor has the power. Reviewers are just advisors. Aug 27 at 0:18
  • 1
    Oh, I meant 'my review'. Sorry, in my language these words are the same, so I always mix them up =p
    – karlabos
    Aug 27 at 0:22
  • I edited slightly because you indicated your native language isn't English. Despite being technically a "periodical," the usual word is "journal," as "periodical" would tend to mean a magazine or something, not a peer-reviewed academic journal. Aug 27 at 15:37
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    This can be super-frustrating, but it happens; as the answers below say, it's up to the editor. Did the authors at least fix the issues to your satisfaction in the published version?
    – Ben Bolker
    Aug 27 at 18:53
  • Were the major points which you raised addressed?
    – user151413
    Aug 27 at 23:46
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This depends very much on the field, the journal, the editor, the amount of revisions requested, etc. I've reviewed papers that I've seen three or four times, and papers that I saw only once and then they were published.

If this editor asks you to review for the same journal again, you are free to explicitly request to see the paper again after revisions (although the editor is also free to ignore you and publish anyway).

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It's the editor's call. If the authors address reviewer comments well and the editor can see that they did, what's the point about sending the paper to the reviewers again, waiting 3...4...5... months before they finally get around to reading the new version and then agreeing that the authors did all the requested revisions? It just drags out the process, eats up everyone's time. If the editor can see that the authors did everything they were asked to, let's just move on and get the paper accepted right there and then!

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What is common depends very much on the field. In physical/theoretical chemistry, the standard approach is that reviewers can recommend revising the manuscript in two different ways:

  • "minor revision": I don't need to see the revised paper again, it's okay if the editor considers the comments sufficiently addressed/incorporated.
  • "major revision": The revised paper will require a second round of reviews.

What actually happens with the manuscript depends on the editor and editorial policy. Perhaps if just one reviewer recommends a "major revision" while the other(s) ask for just "minor revision", the editor might conclude that a second round of reviews isn't all that necessary.

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This is a common misconception (driven by the too strong fetish of review). You are NOT a gatekeeper. NO. Just...NO! You are an assistant to the editor. You don't get a vote. You don't get a final chop. You don't get "dings". If the issues were minor, that ALL the more reason, why there's no point in recirculating the paper to you.

However, even if your issues were serious, you STILL don't get a final ding if the editor feels differently. I once submitted a paper which criticized a Bell Labs big wheel. I found out long after that he had been a reviewer (and, go figure, panned my paper), but the editor used his own judgment circulated it elsewhere and it was published with no revisions. Literally (and not how the millenials use that word). The point (other than "go me") is that the editor is the gatekeeper. NOT the reviewer.

Authors need to learn this as well. If you don't like the revisions, move your paper. Now, 90% of you are complaining about valid critiques and need to suck it up and fix your stuff. But there's like 10% where you should just tell the system to piss off and go to another journal (there are a metric butt-ton* of them out there).

*SI unit

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