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I am trying to publish a paper. This was the result of a summer's work in my spare time while working 40 hour weeks in a non-math related job. I received an email response from the journal that neither said the paper was rejected or accepted: I have been asked to revise and resubmit. I was given feedback by a reviewer to make some minor changes and the editor used VERY positive language and remarked that if the changes are made then it could be published in the latest issue.

However, at first I took this as great news, since this is my first real work. But, thinking about it more I started to worry that I had gotten my hopes up too soon.

Do I still stand a good chance of it being published?

Edit: Thanks for the answers.

  • Rather than writing "thanks for the answers", please express your appreciation by up-voting the answers which you found helpful, and accepting the answer you found most helpful. – David Richerby Nov 19 '14 at 21:19
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Yes, if you've only been asked to make minor changes, the paper stands a very good job of being published.

Now you've got to work methodically, and be meticulous with the detail.

Go through each required change one by one. If it's not an unacceptable change, make it; and in a new, separate document - a log of the changes = write one or two sentences to describe how you've made the change (sometimes, a word or two, e.g. "spelling corrected" might be sufficient). If it would be an unacceptable change, write a few sentences in your log of changes about the basis on which you're sure it doesn't need changing.

Work through all these with any co-authors.

When you send the changed paper, add a covering note. In that, copy and paste each of their requests for a change, and after each one, add your sentences from your log of changes about either how you've done the revision, or why you haven't. Your editor may have sent you a proforma or template to fill in, that would do the equivalent job: if they have, use it.

  • 3
    I'm working with my sponsor to address each point that the reviewer made. Nearly all, if not all, of the reviewers comments were valid. – Pubbie Nov 7 '14 at 16:23
  • So wait, in the edited copy I need to write one or two sentences in the paper of the changes i've made AND include a cover letter detailing the changes? That makes no sense. – Pubbie Nov 9 '14 at 4:37
  • @Pubbie I've edited to clarify. Changes go into the edited copy. Comments on the changes go into a separate new document, a log of changes. – EnergyNumbers Nov 9 '14 at 7:48
  • That's what I figured you meant. :) – Pubbie Nov 9 '14 at 16:59
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In the journals that I deal with, even a request for major revisions usually means that a manuscript is on its way to acceptance: it is just a question of whether you are able to put in the time and additional work necessary to address the issues raised by the reviewers.

"Revise and resubmit," by contrast, generally means that the editor sees potential, but that there are too many problems to expect the manuscript to be able to move forward on the tight time schedule of a request for revision. It's a kind of (faint) compliment, actually, and you should take it as it sounds. I recommend treating a "revise and resubmit" as a request for really major revisions. If you get a request to revise and resubmit, take the reviewers seriously, and take your time revising until you and your advisor feel you have well addressed all of the issues that they raised. When you resubmit, your cover letter should explicitly mention the prior version and how you have addressed key issues raised.

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Being asked to revise and resubmit is very common and you should not be discouraged by this but rather make the requested revisions and resubmit your paper.

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I am a peer reviewer for a journal and have more than 10 publications myself. There is very high chance your paper would be published if you address the reviewers' questions and request. Make your points more explanatory where you do not want to change; sometimes the reviewers are not directly in your field of study and this is done so that a layman can at least understand your paper. Good luck with your publication hustle.

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