I got review reply with three reviewers comments. Most of them are workable. I can address them while revising the manuscript. However, one reviewer is asking much more work, and based on my understanding, I feel that can be a another work. Thus, I want to politely answer that query with proper reasons. However, I am wondering if there is any formal way to address this issue?

I can say that, we totally agree with the reviewer's concern. However, this study which itself is a novel work, is a part of our future work.

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    Yeah, I think you've got the right answer.
    – jakebeal
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:40
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    One option would be to suggest this to the editor, before officially submitting your response. Apr 17, 2016 at 15:50
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    I'm surprised not to find that this is a duplicate of something - it seems like a reasonably common question.
    – David Z
    Apr 17, 2016 at 15:50
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    @DavidZ It would be nice if there were some semantic clustering algorithms available for SE. Apr 17, 2016 at 15:58
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    @Mithun Yes, you can do it this way, too. Apr 17, 2016 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


One thing to make clear at the outset: it is the editor who controls whether your paper is published or not. Your task is to convince the editor, not necessarily the reviewer, that your paper merits publication.

Most editors will not blindly require you to implement all the reviewer's suggestions to get the paper published. After all, it's not like the reviewer necessarily knows better than you do what is going to make your paper publishable. (If multiple reviewers all make the same suggestion, that's a different story and an editor will put more weight on that.)

If you have a good reason not to do something suggested by a reviewer, you can not do it and point out in your response to the editor why you made that decision. The important thing is to make it clear that you didn't simply decide to ignore part of the reviewer's report. If you're going to avoid implementing any of their recommendations, you do need to justify it. It then falls to the editor to decide whether the paper is still publishable without that particular suggestion being implemented.

I'd add that saying that an addition to the paper would be too large and would justify an entire followup study on its own is a valid response. Even a reasonably common one, I would think. Reviewers haven't done the research themselves; they don't know how much work an extension would take, and if you say it would be too involved, there's a pretty good chance the editor believes that you know better than the reviewer on that point.

  • Good. Sometimes, most of the research work considers one or two aspects while keeping other issues unchanged as assumption. Thus, some reviewers easily catch these and ask to show the impact of these assumptions. Thus, it gets difficult to show the impact of all the issues, sometimes the main contribution is not properly highlighted due to complex scenario that are close to real environment. Thus, if we leave the Editor to decide between reviewers and authors, most of the time I see that Editors follow the reviewers. :)
    – Mithun
    Apr 17, 2016 at 16:19
  • What if the reviewer recommends an extension not possible in short time of the paper?
    – Nikey Mike
    Apr 17, 2016 at 18:32
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    @Mikey Mike -- then you say in your reply, "This reviewer recommends an extension that is not possible in a short time". Don't overthink it.
    – iayork
    Apr 18, 2016 at 12:29
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    @Mikey Mike, this is the most common issue in most of the time. We need to say some good reason for that. Only the excuse due to short time does not always work, since Editor may not be convinced. We have to do some trick to overcome this issue.
    – Mithun
    Apr 18, 2016 at 14:47

What's sometimes worked for me is to e-mail the editor noting the conflicting demands of the referees and saying what you propose to do and asking if that would be OK? Depending on the circumstances I have also asked if doing X is a requirement for publication, and I have withdrawn or resubmitted depending on the response.


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