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I want to know whether is it ethical to express thanks and gratitude to a reviewer in the reply to review text. I feel we should express thanks to reviewers who spent valuable time to review our work.

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    IMHO it is more common to thank the reviewer in the Acknowledgments of your article, but of course you can also thank her/him in your response. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 17:06
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    Once i wanted to add the anonymous reviewer as a coauthor
    – prototype
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 21:42
  • @just-learning: That is probably quite field-dependent. Fields that usually have very tight restrictions on paper length try to reduce everything to the absolute minimum (which, in case of the Acknowledgments, usually means that they contain a note about the grant number and little to nothing else) may rather tend to not do that. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:33
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    @O.R.Mapper: That's interesting. I wonder which fields have that tight article length restrictions. Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 3:16
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    @just-learning: CS conference papers are often restricted to either 8, 10, or 12 pages. Which invariably means that the last few days of writing a paper are not so much about adding text, but about "fighting" for single lines (line breaks that will result in one page less) by removing content without losing any crucial information. When possibly useful, but essentially redundant information such as the full addresses of authors' affiliations, or DOIs in the bibliography, is among the first things to be removed, there is no space left for polite, but essentially uninformative statements. Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 12:49

3 Answers 3

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It is not a question of ethics, it is a question about being courteous. Reviewers spend time to read and comment on your manuscript. Regardless of the type of comments you receive there will be significant voluntary work involved. It is only fair to show some gratitude. One way to think about this is that it is no different from any other type of professional correspondence.

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    And you should still thank them even when you wish you could yell at them instead...
    – jakebeal
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:55
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Yes, how could it possibly be unethical to thank someone? This is very common.

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It's very common and standard courtesy. Correctly reviewing a manuscript takes quite a lot of time and is no small effort. And in most cases, a thorough review will help make your manuscript better, so it's not strange to thank someone for helping you improve your work.

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