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I recently attended a conference and witnessed an interesting discussion between a PhD and his supervisor. The supervisor recommended his student to "wait with the re-submission until the very last day". Context: they received a tough review report and may not address the raised concerns. The supervisor claimed that many reviewers would be unavailable during Christmas and that they might be lucky to be assigned a new reviewer. Does that make any sense? In my view, journals would just wait until he is back. Could you think of situations where it is advisable to wait with the re-submission of a revised manuscript ?

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    "they might be lucky to be assigned a new reviewer" What if they are unlucky to be assigned an even tougher reviewer ? (Some people are so bored during holidays)
    – Nobody
    Nov 19, 2023 at 14:48
  • Does "when the revised version isn't ready" count?
    – Anyon
    Nov 19, 2023 at 14:50
  • dear Nobody, this is not my personal opinion. I am just curious and used this scenario as a recent background for my question.
    – Dr.M
    Nov 19, 2023 at 14:50
  • I know. I was talking about the supervisor's recommendation.
    – Nobody
    Nov 19, 2023 at 14:52

2 Answers 2

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As Nobody writes, waiting in this particular situation can go either way. Maybe you get assigned new reviewers, who may be (a) even tougher than the old ones, or (b) are not necessarily tougher, but raise issues orthogonal to the original reviewers, which adds to your work in the next revision (and hopefully makes your paper even better). Maybe the original reviewers do have a lot of time over the Christmas holidays and can go over your revision with a fine-toothed comb. Maybe they are extra grumpy (time with family can do that).

Could you think of situations where it is advisable to wait with the re-submission of a revised manuscript?

Rarely. A very few examples:

  • You may be waiting for additional data, which is not strictly necessary for your revision, but "nice to have".

  • Similar to the supervisor's recommendation, but it's the editor whose term of office you know is coming to an end, and you have reason to assume that their successor will be easier to work with (e.g., if you have an explicit conflict with the editor).

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  • if you have an explicit conflict with the editor Presumably in this case it's a better idea to request the editor recuse.
    – Allure
    Nov 20, 2023 at 2:05
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For most journals this would waste time for nothing, because they'll wait for the original reviewers, even if they have to wait months.

The exception is if you're dealing with an MDPI journal, which based on your question history is quite possible. In this case, if the reviewer is too busy (not a guarantee by any means) the most probable result is the journal asks the academic editor to check the revision. It's possible they'll be able to make a decision (if the comments you got were minor); it's also possible they'll decide to wait anyway in which case you get the same result as in the first paragraph.

You are very unlikely to get a new reviewer no matter which publisher is involved. A new reviewer means restarting the process from zero, and is very time-consuming.

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  • I think it is not exactly rare that a reviewer isn't available for reviewing the revised manuscript. A new reviewer doesn't automatically mean "restarting the process from zero". When I was the new reviewer, I usually was provided with the previous reviews and the authors' replies and changes. This might depend on the field, the publisher, and the editor.
    – user9482
    Nov 20, 2023 at 6:55
  • @Roland it's rare in my experience that a reviewer isn't available for the revised manuscript - absent something dramatic (e.g. death), the reviewer will usually be available if you are willing to wait. It seems to me like your experience was unusual. Was it because the previous reviews are divergent, and you were effectively the arbitrator? An answer to a previous question of mine academia.stackexchange.com/a/115257 also says "as a referee, I believe that I have never been shown another referee report", so it's surprising you can see the other reports.
    – Allure
    Nov 20, 2023 at 7:53
  • In my field, editors are not willing to wait long. The time for the second review round usually is about two weeks and almost never exceeds a month.
    – user9482
    Nov 20, 2023 at 7:59

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