I recently received the reviews for an article I submitted a few months back to a journal. Reviewers did not comment on the results proved; i.e., they did not indicate the presence of any errors in the proofs. They only commented on grammar mistakes, which I need to correct. They also mentioned that the revised manuscript will undergo a second round of review by the same reviewers.

What is the probability of acceptance of the article?

The number of changes I have to make is : five (grammar plus spelling mistakes)

Recommendation is : "Consider after major changes".

  • 6
    If I were you, I would concentrate on correcting the grammar mistakes now. What are you worrying about?
    – Nobody
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 4:38
  • 6
    You may want to check with the editor that it is indeed only grammar changes that are being requested, because these are usually not described as "major changes" unless there are such a huge number of them that the paper was too hard to read to review properly. If the latter is the case then the chance of acceptance is impossible to guess of course. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 5:43
  • 10
    The specific text "Consider after major changes" is a little odd (usually I hear major revision), and after Googling it appears to me that this phrase "Consider after major changes" is used by some predatory journals. The journal you submitted to may be totally OK. But given the unusual phrase and your weird reviews (even for a good paper, reviews that only point out a few writing errors are not normal), I wanted to mention the possibility so you can evaluate for yourself the journal quality.
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 6:56
  • 4
    Also see How do you judge the quality of a journal?
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 6:58
  • 1
    Five corrections of grammar and spelling don't constitute a major revision if the paper is more than a page long. Did you check whether the five corrections the reviewers gave you are really all the corrections they want or just a representative sample? I remember once reviewing a paper that was full of grammatical errors, far too many to list in a reasonable report; so I wrote that there are lots of grammatical errors, and I gave a bunch of examples from the first page. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:37

4 Answers 4



  1. There are so many grammar and spelling mistakes in the manuscript that they pointed out a few by way of example and sent it back for English language editing before a full review. Given the quality of writing in the question, this seems unlikely.
  2. There is a missing review that was not sent to you that has asked for more major revisions. Sometimes this happens if the reviewer uploaded their comments as a file. Log into the submission web site and see if you can find any extra review files associated with your manuscript.
  3. The editor accidentally clicked the wrong button in the editing software and meant to send it for minor revision. This seems possible, but it is very strange that the reviewers did not comment on the results at all, and suggests a very poor review process.
  4. The editor doesn't like the paper very much themself and has sent it back hoping for a major revision, but has been too lazy to provide review comments that would help.
  5. The editor is particularly annoyed by grammatical errors and sent it back for a small number of minor errors to be corrected before being willing to send it to reviewers.

To me, the "missing review" hypothesis seems most likely. I would check the web site, and if you don't find another review file, contact the editor to clarify whether the grammatical changes you mention are really the only changes required.

  • 9
    "Given the quality of writing in the question" - note that the question was edited by users other than the OP.
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 6:46
  • 4
    Another "missing review" possibility that I have unfortunately experienced as an editor: a reviewer might have put the comments in the wrong field, and the editor not noticed. I once returned a paper for major revisions and got back only minor revisions because the reviewer with the key criticisms accidentally pasted them into "confidential comments to the editor" and neither of us noticed. The authors did not contact me to clarify , which was a mistake on their part (though we did give them another chance to revise when we realized the mistake on our part).
    – jakebeal
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 11:26

It means there are plenty of grammatical mistakes in your manuscript those must be confusing the actual message of your work or what you want to say. So need to be corrected before taking any decision. By the way, if it grammatical correction only, then high chances of getting accepted. Good Luck!!

  • The number of changes I have to make is : five (grammar plus spelling mistakes)
    – monalisa
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 6:29

Nobody here can guess the probability of your paper being accepted. Make sure you didn't miss a part of the comments somewhere when downloading them. If there are indeed only such comments, correct the spelling and grammar and re-submit.


This is going to be one that everybody downvotes, but I've been around the block people.

It could just be that the paper is really rubbish, that the reviewer considered it a waste of their time to point out stuff the authors should have known years before they started submitting papers, and has confined themselves to the grammar mistakes.

Another unpopular adage, harsh but not unfair: spelling and grammar are a litmus test for the care and attention that the authors generally bring to their work. If they don't know the difference between its and it's, how can they be trusted to weigh their chemicals accurately?

(Yes, yes, the chorus of bad spellers chants, they can too be trusted!)

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