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I submitted a simulation-based research paper to the Springer journal 'Electrical Engineering' three months ago. Today, I received a response inviting me to revise my paper. To maintain the continuity of the peer review process, they recommend returning the manuscript within 14 days.

While four reviewers initially agreed to assess my paper, only one has submitted a report. Consequently, the editor's decision was based on the feedback from this single reviewer.

Some of his comments:

  • Although the manuscript has a case study, but there is no experimental results included.
  • Too many simulation results presented in the manuscript. Almost five full pages of the manuscript are dedicated to sim-results, which is too much.
  • The contribution of the work in not clear.
  • The paper organization should be revised
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    Unfortunately, I don't think this question is a good fit for this community. No one here can use their crystal ball to predict what one editor at one journal in one specific field will do for your one paper that none of us have read. (Side note: please don't include your paper here.) Instead, use your time to speak with your advisor or a trusted colleague in the field who can read your paper and the specific comments to provide customized advice.
    – Ian
    Feb 21 at 23:24
  • I know, only the editor can decide, but I posted here to maybe find someone who has published in this journal before and who went through the same thing, meaning, receiving feedback from only one reviewer. Thanks for passing by.
    – Go masha
    Feb 21 at 23:32
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    We're looking for more generalizable questions here, not reviews of each individual editor for each journal. Major revisions means you aren't rejected so the editor must see some potential path otherwise they're wasting their time by not rejecting. If you think you can address their concerns, do it. If not, you can ask if what you can do is acceptable.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 21 at 23:50

3 Answers 3

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There is some hope, but the revisions asked for are very extensive and the time is short. But "major revision" isn't rejection.

Start with the organization of the paper and make sure you can specify a worthwhile contribution and make that clear. Then work on the rest. I don't know how strict the 14 day limit is, but if you have the time you could try. The first bullet seems the hardest to meet in a short time, but if you can solidify the rest you might have a chance.

But expect that the next version will also need revision. You need to do enough so that the editor thinks it worthwhile to continue.

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  • Thank you so much, I really appreciate your answer.
    – Go masha
    Feb 22 at 1:11
  • @Gomasha To repeat a comment I made elsewhere (please do not be offended) ... If an answer is helpful to you, the best way to show that your appreciation it is to "up-vote" it. It's true that the author of the answer won't know that it is you specifically, who up-voted but nonetheless, they will probably appreciate the upvote more than you kind note of thanks. It's just the way that Stack Exchange works! Feb 26 at 2:51
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Your paper is not rejected, so the answer is 'yes you still have a chance'; but as you can see from the review comments you have serious work to do if you want to get accepted.

There's nothing unusual about getting review comments from only one reviewer. As you saw, not every reviewer who agrees to review will actually submit a review, and I'm sure you'd rather receive a decision now than have the editor invite more reviewers and wait another three months.

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  • Thank you so much, I really appreciate your answer.
    – Go masha
    Feb 22 at 1:11
  • Further, if you think 14 days won't be enough to complete the "serious work", you can ask the editor to extend it - they're usually pretty amenable to such requests. Feb 22 at 12:03
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You ask, "Do I still have hope?". It's a question frequently asked, in all sorts of different guises, on this forum. The real issue, I think, is what are you really looking for?

  1. Additional information from this forum (SE Academia) that will allow you better to assess whether it is worth your while to revise your manuscript as suggested by the editor in order to improve your ultimate chances of acceptance by that particular journal?
  2. Additional data from this forum (SE Academia) to allow you better to assess whether it is worth your while to revise your manuscript as suggested by the editor in order to improve your ultimate chances of acceptance by an alternative "good" journal?
  3. Reassurance?

On point 1, you already have the only information available. Depending on what the base-rate for acceptance vs. rejection for Electrical Engineering is, my guess is that you have effectively been told that your chances of final acceptance are now better than base-rate, since the base-rate includes all the rejections ... and yours wasn't rejected outright. Amusingly, the only circumstances under which that assessment is incorrect would be if the base-rate for immediate acceptance exceeded 50%; needless to say, except with a predatory journal, that is most unlikely.

On point 2, you again have the only information available, but you might consider revising your paper in line with the suggestions of the editor but then perhaps submitting it to a journal where the bar for publication is a bit lower.

On point 3, you will discover, from a fairly cursory examination of the available journals, that even (and this should most definitely NOT be taken as a comment on your paper about which no one but you has any real knowledge) the most complete junk can find a home in a journal somewhere.

But there is no Delphic Oracle at SE Academia. The best you can do is assess the editor's comments, revise your paper to the extent that you think those comments have merit, and then resubmit either to the same journal or to another. ... and good luck!

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  • Thank you so much, i really appreciate your answer.
    – Go masha
    Feb 22 at 9:51

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