6

I recently submitted an article. After review process, I added all suggested changes to the article and now it is longer than formatting restrictions allow.

It is a conference article and any extra pages are charged. That extra page contains only some references. My question concerns the extent to which I can modify my article after receiving review. I am not talking about results or conclusion or any other major topic related changes, only e.g. grammar, style, figure location, text and section rearrangement, layout, etc.).

Can I remove some of the suggestions of reviewers? To what extent are any other (non-required) changes acceptable and/or permitted?

6

Within the guidelines set by the conference publication process, I see no reason why you can't make small changes that can reduce the page size. I will often edit things down for the final version to fit in the desired format. Of course, if your review comments were "everything is too terse, please expand", then you might have a problem with complying with review comments and page limits :)

4

In my field (information theory), conference papers only got accepted or rejected, there was no such thing as "major revisions" that included another round of review. Therefore, as a senior researcher in my group once pointed out, theoretically you could change the entire paper after acceptance and still be allowed to publish (and yes, there were several conferences where a conference paper was considered a "true" publication). If your field is the same, you can ignore any suggestions from the reviewers.

However, I personally wouldn't ignore a comment just because the paper got too long. Changes I made in such a situation usually were:

  • Remove DOI and weblinks from the references
  • Make the figures slightly smaller
  • Find paragraphs where the last line consists only of a single word and try to reformulate that paragraph to make it shorter
  • If your paper contains formulas: change some smaller (unreferenced) formulas to inline
  • If all that didn't help, try to shorten the introduction (the part where the background is explained)

If you are using Latex, the effects can be amazing even with the slightest change you make. Anecdotal source: I was once working on a paper that just fit the 5 pages limit. At some point, I decided to add the word "that" (the sentence was something along the lines of "the formula we obtain by" and I wanted to change it to "the formula THAT we obtain by..."). I recompiled and suddenly had a paper that was 5 pages + 1/2 column! Adding the word "that" made the last word in the paragraph move to a new line, as a consequence, another paragraph at the bottom of that page didn't fit any more and Latex decided to move two lines over to the next page. This caused a formula on the bottom of that next page to exceed limits and so on. Taking the word "that" out again made the paper exactly 5 pages again, so I decided that keeping the page limit was way more important than one sentence sounding great instead of good ;)

0

The papers I have published have generally required some documentation addressing the reviewer comments when the paper is resubmitted. Even if not, it's a good practice to keep notes on what changes you make to a paper through the review process.

I have not always adopted reviewer suggestions, but have written these items up with explanations just as I've written up comments on changes that I have made in response to reviewer suggestions, giving a rationale why I haven't made adopted specific suggestions. Bar one submission, the journal editors and reviewers have accepted these unaltered passages as readily as they've accepted the other amendments.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.