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The last time I submitted my manuscript in 2022, it was rejected by the newly added reviewer x after major and minor revisions. The reason was that the method of one of the sections was questioned incorrectly. After detailed inspection, we found that what he said was wrong. We have theoretical basis and experimental verification. Then after submitting it, he still argued that there was something wrong with my paper and questioned my method. As a result, AE rejected the manuscript. We appealed to EIC at the beginning of this year, and EIC agreed with our appeal. During this period, the original AE also sent a review invitation to reviewer x, but he did not accept it. So we were told to resubmit the paper, and the AE and reviewers were changed. Four new reviewers were invited in the first round, and the result was an major revision. The weirdest thing is that in the second round, the AE invited reviewer x again. He still did not recommend publication. He copied all previous opinions without touching a word. Does anyone know what to do about this matter?

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    Did the new AE give an indication they were aware that the reviewer just copied their original reviews, without engaging with your revision? If not, I would reach out to the AE and discuss exactly this with them. "The reviewer already commented Y on an earlier version, which we addressed by Z. Now they again comment Y, without engaging with our Z. What should we do?" Nov 9, 2023 at 7:17
  • Thanks. This journal is double-blind and may require contact with EIC. What I'm not sure is whether I need to directly contact EIC to explain this issue, or wait for the response letter to be uploaded. I am quite worried that something bad will happen.
    – zhang yuan
    Nov 9, 2023 at 10:06
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    The decision for this round of review to be a "major revision" was made this morning. I have not yet submitted my response letter. I agree to clarify the question before replying to a (possibly erroneous) comment.
    – zhang yuan
    Nov 9, 2023 at 10:52
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    Please note that reviewers can be of any gender… not just men as is implied in the question.
    – user126108
    Nov 9, 2023 at 15:10
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    Can we introduce the acronyms before their use for the people new to the publishing process?
    – sjaustirni
    Nov 9, 2023 at 18:26

1 Answer 1

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It is editors, not reviewers that make publication decisions. The editor could accept or reject your paper whether the reviews are positive or negative, though the tendency is to go along with consistent reviews.

(A) You can appeal to the editor that the review is faulty. (B) You can revise the paper and resubmit unless final rejection is in hand, or (C) you can withdraw the paper and submit it elsewhere. Those are your main options. I suggest that you first try the first option and see what the response. Then consider one of the others.

For the first option, give your arguments that the paper is correct and point to flaws you see in the reviewer's comments.

Also, consider the possibility that your phrasing of some key ideas has misled the reviewer, which will probably require updates to make things more clear. I don't (can't) claim that as a fact, but it is worth looking at.

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  • Thanks. After discussing with my PHD supervisor, we decide to try the first option for the this round of review.
    – zhang yuan
    Nov 10, 2023 at 1:24

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