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Currently, I submitted my article to the frontiers series and received comments from the reviewers. After revising the article, I let a native English speaker help me to check it.

She made great revisions for me, especially in improving the writing (eg. grammar/choosing a better word/changing the order of the sentence). Although it was helpful, the reviewers didn't request me to do it. They just evaluated my writing as 3(the full point is 5).

Should I improve all of them according to her suggestions, even though most of them didn't been pointed out in any questions or errors? or do I just need to improve the parts that have been commented on? If I improved and changed lots of the word selections, should I mention all of them in the response to the reviewer/editor?

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    Definitely improve it. But you only need to mention vocabulary choices for key terms, not for the mere phrasing of descriptive or narrative text.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 29, 2022 at 19:57
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    It's your responsibility to make the article as good as possible, not that of the reviewers (just mention the changes made in a separate document).
    – Tom
    Oct 30, 2022 at 11:25
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    Do the suggested improvements, and include an acknowledgment for her help. Oct 30, 2022 at 13:33

2 Answers 2

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Yes, you most definitely should make the revisions. It is your article, not the reviewers'. You can make whatever changes you want to. You do not need the reviewers' or editors' permission to make improvements that they did not ask for.

For your review response, you should probably mention something like this: "I had a native English proofreader proofread the article. I believe that the writing in this version should be much improved." There is no need to go into any more detail than that. Most reviewers and editors would be happy to see a comment like that, and almost none would want more details than that.

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    I agree, though it might be annoying for the reviewers if the article has changed greatly and now they have to review a very different article. They will wish that you had done this before submitting the article. You could tell the editor that the changes are only rewordings and changing the order of words within the sentence - if this is true.
    – Oliver882
    Oct 29, 2022 at 13:09
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    @Oliver882 A proofread article is not a "very different article". Changes are only cosmetic, even if there are changes in almost every sentence. As long as there is no change in the core concepts or arguments, it is up to the reviewers whether they want to reread the entire article. It is absolutely not the reviewers' responsibility to verify the proofreader's work.
    – Tripartio
    Oct 29, 2022 at 15:56
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    OP said "she made great revisions for me," so I think it was more than proofreading
    – Oliver882
    Oct 30, 2022 at 7:28
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    @Oliver882, I guess it is a matter of personal opinion, but I would not consider that "She made great revisions for me, especially in improving the writing (eg. grammar/choosing a better word/changing the order of the sentence)" is worth detailing for reviewers. But I certainly respect if you disagree. I would recommend that OP follow my suggestion for a very high-level general comment, then if reviewers or editors want more detail than that, they will ask for it. Hopefully, that approach could make everyone happy.
    – Tripartio
    Oct 30, 2022 at 14:10
  • @Tripartio Thank you very much for your valuable suggestions. That was very helpful for me. Yes although many changes have been made, the main technical content hasn't been changed. I think it's better for me to follow those suggestions and improve my article. Wish me good luck, and best wishes to you!
    – MyL
    Nov 10, 2022 at 7:01
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I would definitely submit the improved version, especially if it improves the English writing, only. I assume the technical content of the paper is unchanged (although better explained). The technical content should only be changed upon reviewers' request, otherwise it's a different paper, and you wasted the original review's time and effort.

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    I disagree. Although one should avoid resubmitting an entirely new paper, it is often a good idea to make some unrequested modifications to the technical contents, for example if you find a mistake, following feedback from other readers, etc.
    – Anyon
    Oct 30, 2022 at 17:50
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    I concur that small improvements should be incorporated, when possible. But I would be careful not to modify the overall paper goal or main contribution, that would make a different paper altogether. It is probably a matter of qualitative judgement. Oct 30, 2022 at 18:01
  • @Fulvio Corno Thank you very much for your valuable suggestions. That was very helpful for me. Yes, I agree with you that it is better to change the main technical content based on the request. And I think it's better for me to follow those suggestions and improve the writing problem. Wish me good luck, and best wishes to you!
    – MyL
    Nov 10, 2022 at 7:03

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