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We have submitted a paper to a journal, and received comments from the reviewers. We are about to submit revised paper and response letter to the journal.

As we revise the paper, it sometimes bugs me that the paper is not quite perfect. There are things like minor typos, grammar, and even some more major flaws like parts where the phrasing should be improved.

I am trying to think ahead about what happens after the paper is accepted. Assuming that the paper gets accepted, do we get the chance to make final edits to correct some of these bugs in the paper (that do affect readability but do not affect correctness)?

Note I actually have two published papers to my name, but in both instances, after writing the first paper submission together, my collaborators performed the work of responding to the reviewers and getting the paper into the final product, without involving me in the process. (I am speculating that this may be because those two papers were done during my Master's study, but the paper revision was done when I had moved away to do my PhD.) While I appreciate that I didn't need to do more work, unfortunately, this meant that I did not have any experience with what happens after getting reviews, and I don't know what is the process to close the loop and get the paper published.

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    Generally, you're expected to have done the proofreading and language check before you first submit the manuscript. After acceptance, you're often not given the chance to do any changes to the text, other than fixing typos.
    – Cape Code
    Aug 7 '15 at 5:05
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    "it sometimes bugs me that the paper is not quite perfect" - I understand what you mean, but I suggest you work on this. No paper is ever perfect. When I re-read my papers from a few years back, I cringe regularly. Don't worry about this, and don't try to make your paper perfect. Make your paper good enough to be useful, and then invest your time in writing a new, better paper. Aug 7 '15 at 6:38
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    Is it normal in your country of work (I assume it is not USA or Europe) that you now hold a tenure-track position (your previous question) with only two papers published and not submitting those two papers yourself but someone else doing it for you?
    – Alexandros
    Aug 7 '15 at 9:08
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    @Alexandros I realized that maybe I didn't need to revise my two papers because those were papers I did during my Master's, and the revisions happened after I had moved away for my PhD. In my field the average PhD student graduates with one accepted paper and two papers that are work-in-progress (either submitted or a working paper), and most newly hired assistant professors are hired right after graduating with their PhD. Unfortunately I was a bit behind, which is why I was not able to have an accepted paper by the time I graduated with my PhD. Aug 7 '15 at 12:52
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Depending on the journal, one of two things may happen after acceptance:

  • For many journals, once the paper is accepted, that's the last time you touch it: at that point, the journal staff stick it into the production queue and in a few months it appears in a new issue with page numbers and citation information added.
  • For some "fancier" journals, the production staff does more extensive reformatting to make the paper look pretty and copyediting the text to correct such minor errors and make sure everything is in conformance with all of the journal's preferences for style. In this case, you will work with the production staff on the final proofs, approving the copyedits they make, and may be able to insert a few minor changes (but generally just wording, not substantive technical changes).

This is further complicated by the fact that some journals now have an "Articles ASAP" or "Just Accepted" publication, which puts a preprint online before copyediting (flaws and poor formatting and all), and only later replaces it with a final version.

Bottom line: unless you know the journal does copyediting and has no "Just Accepted" stage, you should correct all of the flaws you notice now.

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