Do You Have Any Advice for Young Authors? Part 2: Revisions
Annelee Boyle, MD
Intern, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Fellow, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Hello again! While doing a 1-month elective at the Green Journal as part of my maternal-fetal medicine fellowship, it is my pleasure to write the Friday FAQs blog. My goal is to share what I’m learning here and help my fellow young authors avoid common mistakes. Last week we covered the initial submission
. This week we will cover revisions.
What I’ve learned from the editorial staff is that NO manuscript that goes through the peer review process is accepted without revisions. That means, as authors, we need to adjust our expectations; our goal should simply be not to be rejected. I’ve also learned that the majority of times the author is asked for revisions, the manuscript will ultimately be accepted. That means, as authors, revisions are a good thing. Yes, a good thing—even if the thought of tackling several pages of comments makes you physically ill (as it did me).
Along with the sample cover letter
I gave you last week, I am passing along a sample response to revisions
. (Again, forgive the topic, a week later, as I write this, the government is still shut down and the Panda Cam at the National Zoo is still off, only worsening my panda withdrawal.) The important points to keep in mind:
- Respond to EVERY point the reviewers make.
- Make every revision suggested, if appropriate.
- If a revision is not appropriate, politely explain why you did not make the revision.
- Be polite. Really polite. Really, really polite.
I know I said it last week, but it bears repeating: the only chance you have to be published is to try. Each time you go through the process it gets a little easier—or at least less painful—but the end result is well worth it.