I recently submitted to PLOS One. The manuscript was returned before sending to review, with a general comment
Please ensure that your search strategy is adequately described such that another researcher could reproduce your experiments. Please include sufficient detail to this end. Eg, search strategy/protocol, search filters used, the dates of search, inclusion/exclusion criteria, reasons for inclusion/exclusion
The paper uses Web of Science. The search terms and methods are simple and detailed in full. I am confused if there was something specific they are wondering about, or more important, if they assume there was some additional criteria or method used. For example, downloading all data with search term "Graphene" using the Topic search box. I am not sure what else they would think is being done.
PLOS being particularly open access, I understand the extra focus on the methods, but is this a common response? Is it usual they did not read the manuscript and just skimmed it, and I should reply with line numbers of where it exists?
I don't believe it is really an issue of the manuscript not stating it clearly, as it is its own subsection in methods detailed in each step.