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So I recently submitted an article to a journal and turns out, there were three reviewers involved. It was accepted with major edits. The editor said she is going to send it to the first two reviewers only. The first two reviewers were keen, provided almost the same set of reviews. They accepted with major edits. The third reviewer, however, rejected it and said a bunch of things that the first two did not point out.

Moving ahead, should I take into consideration what the third reviewer said? Or should I just work based on the comments of the first two since they the ones who are going to re-review it?

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    If the third reviewer provides negative feedbacks that are somewhat valid, then perhaps, at least, should you take those valid points and apply them to improve your work ? Feb 25, 2022 at 20:47
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    Why would you not? Feb 25, 2022 at 20:49
  • Related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/145158/… Feb 25, 2022 at 21:30
  • I guess the third reviewer signaled to the editor that they were not available to further review the paper. The editor told you about the two reviewers, probably to save you the time of engaging in a discussion with the third reviewer. Still, ignoring tout-court the reviewer comments looks very bad, you should at least address the critical points in your response to the editor.
    – EarlGrey
    Feb 26, 2022 at 0:11

1 Answer 1

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The goal of peer review is not just to accept or reject the paper but to improve the quality of the paper, future work and the field in general.

Every review comment is an opportunity to improve the work and the paper and as a scientist and an author, you are supposed to take the responsibility of improving the quality of your paper according to the review comments and any other possible means.

It is not unusual that the reviewer does not understand the paper and thus his/her comments are not relevant. However, this should trigger the need to improve the readability and understandability of the paper. Furthermore, different reviews -in my opinion- should be considered a healthy phenomenon in academia as those reviewers are coming from different sub-communities and schools.

In summary, despite the third reviewer won't receive the revised version (which I find strange), it is highly recommended that you tackle and answer his/her comments. In addition to improving the quality of the paper, it gives a good impression to the reviewers and EiC.

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