Short workshop

Point-by-point replies to editors and peer reviewers—guiding novice writers

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Workshop leader: Catherine Mark
Friday 27, 13:10-14:20, Room 1

An author’s need for language support doesn’t end with manuscript submission. Except for rare occasions on which a journal accepts an article “as is”, the reviewers return their evaluations and the editor requests revision or rejects the manuscript. In either case, the author’s understanding of and response to their comments is decisive for subsequent stages of the peer review process.

What do editors and referees say? What do they mean? How should the author respond? While the answers may seem obvious to veterans, these questions can pose difficulties for novice authors, especially those whose first language is not English, as well as for their editors/translators.

The presentation will address ways to help authors learn to analyze and interpret referees’ reports, to identify constructive criticism, to determine an appropriate response, and to compose a considered point-by-point reply to the reviewers’ comments. We will also discuss letters of appeal, when the author believes that rejection is due to misinterpretation or bias.

Catherine Mark, authors’ editor and translator, Department of Immunology & Oncology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología/CSIC, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.