The task of performing a revise and resubmit can vary greatly in complexity. In the simple case, the lead author can do the task mostly on their own. They might identify the points, work out an order to do them in, and then work through them one at a time, making changes in the document, and crafting the response document point by point.
However, more substantial revisions often involve a more fundamental restructuring of the paper. Thus, the first attempt at incorporating a response to a particular point might be further drafted and redrafted. Collaborators may review the manuscript and make further edits. Sometimes, you make a change to address point 1, and then as you are making changes to point 7, you realise that this going to slightly alter how you address point 1.
In these cases where you have complex major revisions and or collaborators who are providing substantive edits, it is tricky to know when to write the response document. This is particularly true if you are trying to make the response document relatively self-contained (e.g., quoting changes, deletions, inclusions, etc.)
Thus, my questions:
- When preparing a response to a complex set of revisions, when should you write the response document: (a) while you are writing the response to each point, or (b) at the end, once all the points are made, or (c) rough draft initially that is reviewed at the end?
- Relatedly, how important is it to have a clear strategy about how all the revisions will be handled before starting to make any revisions?
- More generally, are there workflow tricks for dealing with the issue of ensuring that the response document stays consistent with the manuscript changes?