What should I do when I disagree with my advisor's recommendations for revision of my manuscripts? The suggested changes are major revisions that will change the concept and message of the paper; for example, changes to the structure, the central idea of the paper, and the metrics I use in my simulations. I believe that the metrics I have used are logical and they have already been used to evaluate the performance of my proposed technique in my field. Every time, I spend more than 6 months between the first draft than the last one because of the advisor's comments. What should I do?

Thank you.

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    Communicate more with your advisor? Discuss why you want to use the metrics you chose, and listen to your advisor's reasoning for a different choice.... Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 21:22
  • I do, but he explain in a way that is not correct, I read a lot of papers and I know exactly that what i wrote is correct, but for him, he does not have time to read papers about what i am doing so he come with comments that are confusing me and when i try to explain he won't let me even talk, for the metrics he said all the other authors are wrong why do you wanna follow them and do the same error, which is a little bit worried, i read only papers from IEEE transactions... Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 21:28
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    he won't let me even talk -- This is a much more significant problem than your disagreements over a paper.
    – JeffE
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


There are a few responses to this but we need a little more context. Presumably this is not for a peer reviewed publication [I only ask this because you use the term 'major revisions']. At the end of the day your advisor is just that, your advisor, and it's up to you to decide how to, or if you should, implement the proposed changes. You don't have to implement all of them, you can defend your paper on those you feel strongly about, but remember that your advisor has a lot more experience than you and it's worth taking into account what they say, and that they may cause you to 'think outside the box' and revise your argument in ways you hadn't originally considered.

6 months sounds like an awfully long time to me between revisions. If you don't agree then say so, but justify your position. But remember that 'major revisions' are exactly that - major - and there must be a good reason why your advisor thinks that your paper[s] need changing to such a degree. I would sit down and talk things through, or if you're doing things over email, state which parts are most important to you and which you do/don't want to change and why.

Don't be too precious about your work. It's a learning experience and good research is generally the work of more than one person. I'm sure your advisor wants the best for you, and the field, so if you detach yourself from your product a little, you may have a better perspective.

  • Thank you for your response, these very nice words gave me more hope. In fact, we spend a lot of time revising the paper, every time because of the advisor comments, sometimes, the sentence is correct (grammar and logic) but i need to re-write it as the advisor wants, line by line, a lot of work and a lot of stress. sOMETIMES ASLO, i do the same simulations many many times and sometimes we drop work that is already done and i was expecting to publish it because my advisor changed his mind..... Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 21:38

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