I think I am in a very similar situation to this question, with the exception that my submission has been refused. I do not want to start a flame, but to me, one of the two reviewers didn't took the necessary time to do a proper review.

The first reviewer made a thorough summary of the paper, and explained in an extremely clear way what were his/her doubts and which parts were not strong enough. The second one looked like a baby plugging his hears and screaming "It stinks! It stinks!". He only attempted to make a point that resulted to be wrong since he was substantially criticizing how an algorithm works (Random Forests), even though it's empirically demonstrated to be effective.

Now, based on the constructive critiques of the first reviewer I refined the manuscript and attempting to submit to another journal. What I can't stand is the behaviour of the second reviewer.

Generally speaking, is the idea to respond to the editor about the bad (where bad is like in the linked question) review(er) a viable action, or should I just ignore all of this and go on?

  • 3
    Quoted from the accepted answer of the linked question: "the reviewer did not fail to understand your paper due to incompetence or laziness, but because you failed to clarify a certain aspects."
    – Nobody
    Jun 28, 2016 at 9:39
  • Well, we are in a 50/50 situation since the other reviewer got the point. Anyway what I was expecting wasn't a favorable review, but a professional one, even if it was for the bad outcome
    – Net_Raider
    Jun 28, 2016 at 9:48
  • This is right. I failed to clearly explain my point and that is my fault. I know that. What I'm saying is that this does't authorize a reviewer to skip a proper review of the manuscript. C'mon the review was just four sentences and he didn't even summarized the work.
    – Net_Raider
    Jun 28, 2016 at 11:29
  • The answer may not completely address your question, I think it is still a very important one for you to read. The second reviewer read your paper and was not satisfied with an algorithm. It's natural for him to stop reading the whole paper and gave you the four sentences. IMHO, you need to address that part of the paper before you submit to another journal.
    – Nobody
    Jun 28, 2016 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


Frustrating as it is, this is something that happens to many authors at some point, and the simplest solution is to shrug and move on. The editor probably already knows that the review is sub-par, and has decided to move on anyway. Arguing with the editor at this point is not just attacking the reviewer, it's attacking the editor's professional knowledge and judgement. It's not impossible to have a good outcome from responding, but it's unlikely. Even if you do get a positive response, the editor would simply send it out to a new set of reviewers, so even the best-case scenario has you starting all over anyway. Find a new journal and send it there.

That's assuming that the review is genuinely completely useless. From your description, I'm not convinced. The reviewer may be wrong, but it doesn't sound as if their process is completely wrong; there is a specific reason for the rejection, it is based on something in your paper, and the fact that there is empirical support doesn't seem like a strong argument in your favor. Before you resubmit to another journal, you should seriously consider how to deal with that issue.


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