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I received a major revision from IEEE Transactions, however one reviewer left no comments. Earlier this already happened to me and the reviewer had left the comments in “Comments to Editors” section. Should I contact the editors in this case and ask if there are some comments? Or should I ignore it as it is simply not my problem, but their mistake

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    How do you know there's a reviewer who left no comments? Is there a section in the review comments that goes "Reviewer 2: [nothing written here]"?
    – Allure
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 0:51

2 Answers 2

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You should definitely contact the editor. The reviewer may have forgotten to attach his/her comments. If it is not a mistake, then in your response, just say 'No comments to address'. If it's a mistake and you do not address the comments, then the missing comments will be used in the next round and thus delaying the review process.

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You can certainly ask the editor to clarify if an error occurred. However, I would say this is not strictly necessary. An alternative would be to simply address the issue in your letter when you resubmit, something along the lines of:

We revised our manuscript taking into account all reviewer comments, except for reviewer 2, who left no comments.

You would probably then hear back from the editor if there were indeed reviewer comments you were unaware of. The worst case scenario would be to lose some time before publication, it is nothing that would be held against you in the decision to publish (or not). But of course, if you really cannot or do not want to afford that, ask.

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    Seems more expedient for everyone involved to just ask.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 20:53
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    What's the point in revising a manuscript if you already know that there are comments that in all likelihood were forgotten to attach and that you know you are not addressing? It just gratuitously lengthens the process for everyone. Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 3:23
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    @WolfgangBangerth, sure, if comments were forgotten "in all likelihood". But I think there is also nothing wrong to start with the assumption that the editor made sure that you have all the relevant information available to revise your manuscript. To me, this is one of the many cases where it does not help to tell OP what they should do (as expressed in the question), but rather explain what alternatives there are, so that they can make up their mind themselves. Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 8:46
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    It takes a short question to the editor to rule out forgotten comments. It takes a multi-week, possibly multi-month detour to add a full round of back-and-forth with a reviewer. Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 21:02

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