A reviewer asked for modifications, which are not necessary. It is obvious that he has not understood my work. What should I do?
- Make sure that the reviewer was wrong not you. S/he is definitely an expert in the field and might see your work from a different perspective. In this case, it is not a matter of being right or wrong.
- Assuming that s/he have not really understood your manuscript. This suggests that there is something confusing about your manuscript. If s/he, as an expert, has misunderstood it, this means many other readers will not understand it too. Things might be crystal clear to us, but our expression can be confusing but we do not see the confusion from our perspective.
As a general advice, see peer-review as a gift instead of a fight.
It is obvious that he has not understood my work
Happened to me in my first publication. I had two referees. One was super-smart and understood even the minor details and commented ( the author has to improve his style of writing to improve readability). Other reviewer was confused and gave comments that are irrelevant. So, reviewers, some time may not understand our work. Yes, it happens a lot. And it is not their fault. Most of the times it is the fault of the author. They make articles unreadable.
Reviewers are usually scientists in your field who has published several peer-reviewed articles. They are smart. If they cannot understand your article, it means the article is poorly written. Let me give an example, read the two sentences below
It might rain today.
Because of feasible precipitation in the stratosphere, we expect a downpour.
Which one do you understand when you read the first time? Sometimes to sound smart authors intentionally make sentences that are complex and unreadable. Revise multiple time. Make your document simple enough to be read and understood.
But, if you had did all this perfectly and if the reviewer is still not able to understand, consider requesting a change of reviewer. If that doesn't work consider submitting to a different journal. Because of a heavy influx of journal submissions, editors several times have to ask a more free person to referee giving rise to poor reviewers.