I spent a lot of time during my post-doc doing a big-data analysis using cloud credits paid for by a grant. I got the research conducted, written up, and submitted to a journal. The modeling I did is not possible to conduct outside of a cloud environment.
Now, the paper has spent a long time in review, and that grant has expired, the cloud account has been closed, and all of the data has been deleted (although I still have the code).
The reviews are mostly positive, although some of them are requesting minor tweaks to the model, which is not possible. I also really don't think that the tweaks they are suggesting would improve the model.
What I am wondering is, how candid should I be about the grant situation? How much should I focus on the science versus my excuses for why I simply can't update the model?
- Focus on the science and explain why I think the proposed changes to the models likely wouldn't affect the outcome?
- Discuss the grant details and tell the reviewers that our grant/cloud access expired, and therefore I can't re-run the models?
- Some combination, i.e., tell the reviewers that their proposed changes likely wouldn't affect the model findings, focusing on the science, but then tell the editor about the grant/cloud situation?
I'm also wondering what happens in other fields where experiments can only happen once, and it is impossible to update the findings.