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February 2002

Responding to Reviewers' Comments on Submitted Articles

Author Affiliations

From the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (Drs Cummings and Rivara), the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine (Drs Cummings and Rivara), and the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine (Dr Rivara), University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(2):105-107. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.2.105

Few authors receive any training in how to respond to the comments of editors and reviewers, although some advice on this topic has been published.1-3 In this article, we present our suggestions.

The letter from the editor generally comes in one of 4 flavors. First, a manuscript may be accepted without any changes. If this happens to you, count yourself lucky; such an editorial response is rare. In our experience, this has happened only once for each of us. Second, the manuscript may be accepted with suggestions for minor revisions. Again, count your blessings, quickly make the suggested changes (if you can), and return the revised manuscript; hopefully the paper will be accepted. Difficulties typically arise with the next 2 categories of response: outright rejection and provisional rejection with the opportunity to make major revisions.

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