I am currently pursuing a PhD degree and I do not yet have a lot of experience submitting journal articles. I recently submitted an article to an IEEE journal in my field. Around two months ago I got the publication decision "revise and resubmit".

The three reviewers were generally positive about the work and mostly asked questions related to the notation as well as further theory based questions which I think I all answered and added to the revision.

However, there is one comment which is a bit unclear to me. The reviewer there essentially asks a question of the type "why was the measurement X in experiment Y conducted in this manner, this needs to be clarified". Similarly, the associate editor asks a question related to the same experiment "in order to support claim Z of the paper, Z needs to be demonstrated". (Neither AE nor reviewers explicitly ask for additional experiments of a certain kind).

Basically, I believe the experiments I conducted already demonstrate Z, though I did probably not explain clearly enough as to why this is the case.

Right now in my answer to the reviewers and the AE, I essentially explain why I think my experiments support the claim in question and I also explain this more clearly in the revised manuscript.

In principle, I could think of additional experiments to gather further evidence for my claim, however, it is unlikely that these experiments would offer better support for my claim (since the associated measurements would be less accurate). I also mention this in my reply. Moreover, these experiments would be associated with a significant amount of work that I think would be outside the scope of the submission.

I wonder how risky it is to resubmit my revised manuscript without offering any additional experimental data and instead, explain why I think the work I did already supports my claim? If the AE does not agree, is it common to get a second chance at revision or is it more likely that the paper will be rejected?

  • 1
    What does your advisor think?
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 6 at 2:06
  • You should not listen to advice from anyone who has not read the manuscript. Oct 6 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


You probably have to do something to satisfy the editor, but it might not involve additional experimentation. And a "rebuttal" to the editor probably isn't enough. Think about how you present things. If you believe that your current structure is sufficient to establish your claims then it seems likely that you haven't yet been convincing in saying that in the paper. Can you make it clearer to a reader?

If you have made jumps in your logic (leaps of imagination, in the worst case) then you need to explore that. Can those jumps be filled with explanations or do they, in fact, require more testing?

You have a (perhaps small) "chance" of publication doing nothing more, but you increase the chances if you specifically address the comments in some way.

Measuring your "chances" is harder. If the editor finds that reviewer especially trustworthy they might be low. If the editor thinks otherwise or trusts the other reviewers especially, then higher. But there is no way to know that. And, at a minimum, you need a revision as stated in the decision you already received.


This question's nearly impossible to answer conclusively without knowing the details. The AE's comment is "in order to support claim Z of the paper, Z needs to be demonstrated". Accordingly, you need to demonstrate Z. The more effort you put into it (e.g. by conducting new experiments), the more likely the AE is to be convinced, but this does not mean you can't convince the AE without conducting new experiments.

Similarly, how the AE might react is nearly impossible to predict. If they're of opinion you really need to put more effort into demonstrating Z, then they might conclude that you're not taking the review seriously and reject again. Or they might not.

The one thing you should be careful about (it doesn't seem emphasized in your question) is that the decision was "revise and resubmit". It wasn't "revise". That means the revisions required, in the AE's opinion, are probably very substantial.

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