We submitted a paper more than one month ago, today we are asked to clarify one question in our paper. Does that mean the paper is just on the borderline right now?

  • Has the request for clarification been sent directly by the editor or is it part of the reviewers' comments? – Massimo Ortolano Jan 20 '15 at 21:24
  • I think it's the editor. We only see that single request, no other comment yet. – monkinsane Jan 20 '15 at 21:32
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    Without knowing the details, I can only make a couple of guesses: i) The editor spotted something which seems to be a major flaw (which is your fear, I suppose); ii) the editor is trying to understand if your paper is really fitted (in-topic) for the journal the paper has been sent to; – Massimo Ortolano Jan 20 '15 at 21:46
  • While it's raised by some reviewer..Sorry I haven't made this clear. – monkinsane Jan 20 '15 at 22:12
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    Thanks! It's a conference paper in computer engineering. – monkinsane Jan 22 '15 at 17:12

One of the reviewers is unclear about one of the claims you are making. You could (for example) be making Claim A which you seem to have the data for, or you could be making Claim A' which is related but the fit isn't as strong.

While the reviewer could give you the benefit of the doubt (and ask you to clarify in revisions), they felt it was safer to ask ahead of time. If it was indeed Claim A', then your paper could have more serious flaws and would need more substantive revision.

I would reply as quickly as possible with the clarification and not try to over think it.

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    The reviewer had doubt on the scenario from which we raised our motivation. I have replied, arguing such scenario can be possible in the future, something like that. – monkinsane Jan 22 '15 at 17:27
  • Sounds reasonable. – RoboKaren Jan 22 '15 at 21:04

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