6

I received a paper back with a verdict of minor revisions on August 30th. Both the letter from the editor and the scholarone submission system states 'minor-revision.'

I've read the reviewers' comments very carefully, and everything is, as the editor states, a minor revision. Nothing requires me to re-analyse the data, or engage with new work. Rather, most revisions are of a small nature, such as fixing up some grammar and clarity errors, ensuring consistency with terminology, and further developing a couple of sections (drawing out the analysis a bit more, being more specific about methodology). This would at most, take a week or two, and then an additional few weeks to get a peer to proofread for me one more time before submission.

However, I've been given until February, 2016 to complete them! For a minor revision that seems like a lengthy amount of time. So now, I'm unsure as to whether they've just given me a lengthy timeline because the journal itself articulates a 6 month turnaround time for peer-review (it took about 5 for this article), or if the revisions are meant to be more substantial.

I read this What is a reasonable time to resubmit revised papers after they have been peer reviewed? but didn't find it helpful.

Is it common in some fields to be given 6 months for a minor revision outcome that will only take a few weeks? I'm concerned that I should be making substantial revisions despite the letters indicating otherwise due to the time-frame provided.

My field: Social science

12

I suspect that what happened is that the editor used a web form to notify you of his/her decision, and to send the referee reports. 6 months is probably a default in the software which the editor did not bother to change. The only thing it is likely to indicate is that the editor sees no need to rush you, and is happy to receive your paper when you're ready.

It's certainly a good idea to finish your revisions much more promptly, and it will likely result in your paper being accepted sooner.

5

Generally Not. But it depends on the journal. You can check the review process of the journal itself. Other reasons could be:

  1. Editor might have notied a large amount of minor corrections, particularly the language. This may need a native check.
  2. The publication frequency may be bi-annualy or may be the slot is not available in next six months.

But in any case, you can submit the manuscript at any time once you finished it, no matter whether it is within 1 month or 2 months or 5 months.

4

This isn't a bad thing - if you can make the changes in a few weeks then nothing is stopping you from submitting sooner. But, let's consider why you might actually need six months. Hypothetically, and plucking numbers out of thin air:

  • the decision has come back in the middle of conference season. You're travelling, and preparing for trips, for a month
  • when you get home after a month of being mostly away, you have a huge amount of catching up to do, other deadlines to meet, and research to get underway again
  • after three weeks of firefighting, you get time to tackle non-urgent things such as these revisions.
  • making the changes takes you two weeks. At this point, nine weeks have elapsed.

  • now you send the revised manuscript to your co-authors. One of them responds quickly, but one is a senior professor who is notorious for being difficult to get feedback from, and another is out of office on leave for two weeks.

  • after three weeks of waiting and one week of chasing, you get some comments from coauthors. Thirteen weeks have elapsed. If you're lucky, you can submit at this point....

So that's eaten up over three months. Getting to six seems far fetched, but... Never complain about being given time :-)

4

I'm in a different field (biology), and for us those limits are an UPPER bound to the time frame you have to fix them, and is often quite standard. It protects the journal/editors from having to further consider a submission if the authors take an unduly amount of time to implement requested changes. Nothing, for an editor, quite like getting an revision a year or two after the changes were requested.

If you can get the revisions done in days or weeks, so much the better!

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