My paper was accepted in peer reviewed journal last week and is about to be publishing. Last night I thought the solution makes better sense if I change the definition of one of the variables. This is a minimal change which doesn't change any of the other equations or any of the conclusions or results.

Is this possible and how can I ask If I could change this variable?

Also, if they accept does that mean that the paper has to to be reviewed again?

  • 1
    Are you just renaming x to y, or are you changing the value of x to something completely different? The former should be considered as a minor change. The latter us up for discussion.
    – JoErNanO
    Jul 26, 2015 at 7:17
  • 2
    When you say "about to be publishing" how late are you? Generally it's common to make minor changes even after a paper has been accepted with no required changes, but if the journal has already typeset it and gone to press, it could be too late. I would definitely talk to the editor. Jul 26, 2015 at 7:26
  • @user3188445, they said that they will contact me in "due course" in regards with colour figures and other things...
    – MrDi
    Jul 26, 2015 at 7:29

3 Answers 3


My advice is to contact the editor of the journal and ask about your desired change. The editor may send it to one of the reviewers, or may accept the change without further review. But communication with the editor is what you need.


I will disagree with MikeV's answer.

In most cases, if the change truly is "minimal," (less than one line of text to change), then it can be "corrected" at the proof stage without further intervention. However, if there is a cascade of changes, then this may possibly involve editor intervention.


It is normal to correct things that are essentially typographical errors at the last minute (page proofs), with the usual caveats about not making typographically-big changes (ones that could change pagination). Changing the definition of a variable sounds more like a change of substance (even if it only involves changing a few words), meaning that there could be consequences for your change (it could render your paper logically inconsistent -- or not, the point is, somebody who knows the area should judge what the effect is). So I have to disagree with aeismail's disagreement: the editor should be involved, to determine whether the intellectual content has been changed.

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