You get asked to read and edit papers (more or less form the same research area) to become a co-author. The editing requires a lot of rearranging of paragraphs, rewriting sections, new/updated figures, lots of grammar and spelling mistakes, recalculating numbers, and so on.

I am curious to know what your experience is, does your own writing get better from editing papers?

I have heard opinions that it actually decreases your own writing ability – any references for that statement?

I would like to submit a paper to a particular journal. The problem is that I am critiquing the analysis of several individuals who work for the journal or are on their editorial board…and I’m providing evidence that proves their theories were incorrect. I’d like to know how to handle this, as my paper challenges their theories (and the motives behind their theories). Would this create a conflict of interest for the journal? And would my critique harm my chances of having my paper accepted for publication?

I submitted a paper to a high impact elsevier journal. However, the problem is things going very slowly. In fact the first reviewer submit his comments after 30 days exactly wich is today but the other one didnt bother at all to accept or decline the invitation. Im reviewer myself and i know sometimes you get busy but this behavior of not declining piss me off so much. If you are busy, just decline and not leave the invitation without respond for over 30 days. Anyways what do suggest? should i contact the editor and encourage him to take the process himself since it require 2 reviewers to take decision, or should i suggest other reviewers which may/may not respond to the invitation & take another 30 days or more to respond.
Either cases are crap as you see its been more than 8 weeks since the initial submission and going this way the research lose its novelty since others will implement what i found. So any suggestions?

Two years ago, when I was doing my master’s degree, I was working on a computational project. My supervisor was well-known in the field and a highly reputed person. We were doing a great job, trying to solve a long-standing problem.

When we made significant progress in our work, we wanted to publish it in a journal that has significant outreach for works related to our problems (We were working on flow acoustics). So we submitted out our article to a journal. The article went into review. Came back after two months. There were two referees. One of them was positive and then came the arrogant reviewer report.

I feel that the authors of the article have no knowledge of how certain computational methods can never reproduce physics.

Authors should try to reproduce the result with more reliable experimental procedures. [cites two articles from author A, B, and C]

Furthermore though the computational method is validated against work of author D, I believe authors should at least try to validate their procedure with works of [cites again different article from author A, C, and B, C, E and X, C]

Authors did not cite relevant literature [mulitple articles from author C]

I recommend publication after major revision.

It is rather obvious that author C is our reviewer who is asking for self-citation and threatens to reject our work on no scientific basis (our computational methodology was well established, robustly proved, highly cited and widely used). Unfortunately the journal had no appeal process.

We wrote in our rebuttal to the editor that if author C is one of the reviewers, we would like to be peer-reviewed by a different reviewer.

However, editor never seemed to care. No care was taken by the journal to provide us a fair review. Is there an efficient way to tackle such arrogant reviewers?

I reviewed a manuscript submitted to a high-impact journal. The quality was low and I believed it could not reach the journal’s standards even by revision. I clearly recommended rejection.

Now I received the revised version for review. Two of three reviewers (myself included) had suggested to reject the original paper. The third reviewer suggested a major revision. Nonetheless, the editor had asked the authors to revise the manuscript (I never experienced this before).

Clearly, the editor is in favor of publishing this paper (for personal or professional reasons; I cannot judge). What should I do? I publish 80% of my works in this journal, and it is very important for me to avoid any conflict with the editor.

I am handling a paper as an associate editor that proposed an algorithm that I find to be weak. In fact, I was able to show that a very simple, brute-force approach actually has a better running time than their algorithm. Therefore, I will recommend rejecting this paper. Do I have an obligation to share my proof that the brute-force running time is better? I want the higher-level editors to have confidence in the rejection, but it also occurs to me that I might be able to improve my own result and publish it independently. Is this a violation of ethics?

I’m a college student, and this summer I submitted an article to a non-profit journal, which only accepts submissions from college students. About a week ago I was informed that it was tentatively accepted, pending significant revision.

In that intervening time, I had some very significant personal events come up in my life. I don’t feel like I’ll be able to truly dedicate myself to the revision process.

Is it ethical to write to the editor and ask to withdraw my paper? Had I known this is how I would feel, I would never have submitted the piece. I feel that it is incredibly unprofessional and risky to ask out at this point… but for my own sake, I feel that it is what I need to do. I don’t know if this is something that is ever done, and I would also hate to come across as ungrateful.

Any advice you could share would be greatly appreciated!

Recently, I submitted a paper to a maths journal (which is a decent journal with a solid editorial board). It was eventually accepted after making some revisions suggested by the referees, at which point I uploaded my final submission. This final submission was then edited by a copy editor at the journal; as well as the usual cosmetic changes in ensuring that my papered adhered to the cosmetic style of the journal, the copy editor also made several grammatical changes. I then was given an opportunity to read through this edited version and suggest any final corrections before my paper is uploaded to the journal’s website.

This, of course, is all fairly standard practice. However, many of the grammatical changes made by the copy editor were incorrect. Of course, I noted this in my comments, so I hope these changes will be reverted before the paper is published.

It is appropriate for me to take further action in notifying the journal (e.g. a member of the editorial board) that a copy editor is repeatedly introducing errors?

This of course seems a little petty. On the other hand, these same grammatical errors occur repeatedly throughout papers in this journal (at least in recent papers published online), and I’m sure that I’m not the only reader who finds these mistakes irritating.


In case anyone is curious about the errors, the most common mistake is that the copy editor repeatedly replaced with a comma my usage of a semicolon before an independent clause, especially such a clause in the imperative mood: an example would be something like “This can be proved via the method of Gauss, see [1]”. Other such comma splices were introduced – all by replacing semicolons with commas.

Additional grammatical mistakes were introduced that were clearly incorrect: for example, I perhaps overuse the phrase “Note that”, and this was pruned on a couple of occasions by the copy editor, but in more than one case, the rest of the sentence wasn’t edited to ensure that it still made sense.