Background

Few years ago, I have published an article on a peer-reviewed internationally recognized journal. My study went through an extremely sound (blind) peer-review, which allowed me to improve many aspects of the final manuscript. The article has been cited a sizable number of times since then.

Problem

I came across an article by a colleague, published in an edited book, in which the author express criticism about some aspects of my study. I am always open to criticism and suggestions when they are constructive, sound, and polite. What I have found particularly upsetting is that, in an attempt to bring to the forefront what s(he) thinks are flaws in my published study, the colleague has actually shown his/her plain misunderstanding of many of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of my work.

Question

I am wondering what could be a viable option in front of the above-described situation.

Shall I do nothing, leaving the scholarly community to judge who is right, or should I try to publish somewhere a polite but firm reply to what I consider an unfair criticism?

If the latter is the case, should I write to the Editor of the journal on which I published my article to ask him/her if the journal would accept a sort of reply “in defence” of my earlier publication?

I recently submitted a manuscript for publication, and soon after received a message saying that it was “with Editor”.

A few days later, I received a message saying it was “transferred to Associate Editor”, and a few days after that “transferred to Subject Editor”.

My question is about the different levels/types of editors in this process, not about the acceptance/rejection of manuscripts in general.

What does this mean?

I was entrusted to do the entire submission process on my own (previously done by the PI) as a learning process, so I am learning by trial and error.

I was supposed to initiate and complete all the bits in the submission portal of the journal, submit the manuscript to BioRxiv, and then submit to the journal. At least that was the order I was advised to follow.

In the rush of getting things done, and done right, I forgot to submit to the preprint server, before submitting to the journal. Now that I check the author guidelines of the journal (ACS publishing), they advise:

… authors are allowed to deposit an initial draft of their
manuscript in a preprint service such as or including these specific
preprint servers, ChemRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, or the applicable
repository for their discipline prior to submission. Please note any
use of a preprint server in the cover letter and include a link to the
preprint, and as appropriate, state how the manuscript has been
adjusted/updated between deposition and submission.

Electronic posting of conference presentations or posters secured by subscription or
institutional logins are not considered prior publication works. All
other prior/redundant publication is forbidden.

Upon publication in [journal X], authors are advised to add a link from
the preprint to the published paper via the Digital Object Identifier
(DOI). ChemRxiv and bioRxiv add this link for authors automatically
after publication. For further details, contact the Editorial Office.

Since you are supposed to mention the DOI from the preprint server in the cover letter to the editor (which is already written, signed and submitted) I’m thinking that I should not just submit the manuscript to BioRxiv without somehow notifying the editorial office.

The question is how to do that in a nice way. Should I send a mail to the editor-in-chief? the managing editor? I don’t want to negatively effect my chances by annoying the editors unnecessarily, but I also don’t want to assume anything and make a mistake along the way.

I need to contact the editorial board of a journal I recently submitted an article to about an issue, and I am having some thoughts as to who would be the appropriate person to contact.

I know that the Editor-in-chief is pretty much in charge of the show, and the associate editors contribute based on their personal areas of expertise.

I have no idea what a managing editor does however. Intuitively I would assume that this job title would encompass more of the administrative and less scientific aspects of the publication process, but I am not certain.

So what does a managing editor do, and what type of questions should be directed to the managing editor?

This question is related to this one, and is dual to it in some sense.

Assume PIs A and B publish a few key papers in what turns out to be a new mini-area. Their work is well received, and they arrive at similar conclusions using complementary techniques.

Several months later, A notices an in-press paper by C, which claims to significantly improve upon the work of A and B. The paper by C is substandard, however, reflecting an evident lack of understanding.

On alerting B, A discovers that C’s paper was not reviewed by either of them.
A and B agree that C’s paper makes a strong, unsupported claim, and that they would certainly have flagged it as problematic (as reviewers).

What reasons could a handling editor have for choosing neither A nor B as referees, given the high relevance of their work? Replies from people with editorial experience would be especially helpful.

For the first time, I had to review a revision of an academic paper (I have already reviewed several other papers, but they were all rejected after the first round). While the authors had clearly improved the paper (after the first round, major revisions were requested by the editor (and myself)), several major issues mentioned in the first round of reviews were still not (or not correctly) addressed. Furthermore, due to the improvement in writing and structure, the paper was easier to read, and I was able to identify several flaws or strong limitations that I did not report in the first round. Consequently, I, again, recommended major revisions (while I hesitated with rejection due to the major flaws).

After having submitted my review, I received the reviews of the two others reviewers. To my surprise, both were positive (1 line comment such as “Issues have been addressed and I have no further comment”) and the editor requested minor revisions.

In view of this, I am wondering if I have misunderstood how I should review a paper after revision as I did not make a real difference between round 1 and 2. Therefore my question is how far can/should we go in reviewing a paper? If at each round, improvements are made but new flaws or mistakes are spotted, should we stop mentioning them at some point?
This process might be theoretically infinite. Furthermore, as an author, I know that several rounds of reviews are exhausting and stressful so I do not want to be “that reviewer” (the one who is too picky and who completely slow down the publication process).

For the first time, I had to review a revision of an academic paper (I have already reviewed several other papers, but they were all rejected after the first round). While the authors had clearly improved the paper (after the first round, major revisions were requested by the editor (and myself)), several major issues mentioned in the first round of reviews were still not (or not correctly) addressed. Furthermore, due to the improvement in writing and structure, the paper was easier to read, and I was able to identify several flaws or strong limitations that I did not report in the first round. Consequently, I, again, recommended major revisions (while I hesitated with rejection due to the major flaws).

After having submitted my review, I received the reviews of the two others reviewers. To my surprise, both were positive (1 line comment such as “Issues have been addressed and I have no further comment”) and the editor requested minor revisions.

In view of this, I am wondering if I have misunderstood how I should review a paper after revision as I did not make a real difference between round 1 and 2. Therefore my question is how far can/should we go in reviewing a paper? If at each round, improvements are made but new flaws or mistakes are spotted, should we stop mentioning them at some point?
This process might be theoretically infinite. Furthermore, as an author, I know that several rounds of reviews are exhausting and stressful so I do not want to be “that reviewer” (the one who is too picky and who completely slow down the publication process).

Is an Associate Editorship in a good journal a very busy position? Should junior faculties at the very early stage (i.e. at the time of joining the department as a faculty) put an effort of being an associate editor in a high-impact journal?
Or two or three years after working as a faculty, one should get into these editorial activities? To get tenure on the way down the road, how helpful this role is?

Let’s say Paper A was recently accepted by a fairly prestigious journal (the top in my subfield). Now, there is a new Paper B, half of which gives a more detailed description of an object in Paper A for pedagogical reasons. This half of Paper B may not technically be new, but there are lots of pretty pictures in it (not merely pretty, of course, they accurately illustrate the particular object of interest). Much effort went into creating the illustrations, and this will probably be apparent to the reviewer.

What are the odds that the same journal would accept Paper B, if the first half of Paper B would not be accepted on its own merits? To what extent can an editor’s or referee’s judgement be affected by nice colorful images?