How to prepare your revised article

It is common for our referees to request that authors make revisions to their articles. It is important that you read each referee report very carefully and address all of the referees’ comments and requests when preparing your revised article.

In addition to submitting your article files, we require a list of all the changes made and a polite point-by-point response to each referee comment (even if you disagree) before we consider the revision. You should copy each referee comment into a separate document and add a response below each comment (and refer to the manuscript line numbers when referring to changes in the main text) to assist editors and referees with checking revisions as quickly as possible.

For each point, take the time to detail exactly what you have changed (quote the exact text before and after) and where it has changed in the manuscript. You should justify your responses, and any additional material should appear in the manuscript. It may only be a new citation and a few new words (or removed words) in a sentence. If you disagree with a referee you should be extremely clear (and polite) about why you think you are right and they are wrong. This may require new evidence, clarification of points in new language, new maths, new experiments, or more references (ideally with the relevant text from that reference extracted in your response, for the convenience of the reviewer).

Sometimes referees contradict each other. It is inadvisable to point out to a referee that their views are invalid just because they contradict the other referee. Try to be conciliatory and, when resolving conflicting reviews, express the view that both reviewers have a point and find some middle ground. Try to address both referees’ comments in some way.

Please make sure that you send your revised article to us, and not simply the original version again. It is also helpful if you supply us with both a clean version of your revised article, and a marked-up version which shows the changes you have made. If you are using Microsft Word, you can use the “tracked changes” function. If you are using LaTeX you can use the “latexdiff” command.

By observing these guidelines, you will be assisting the referees who voluntarily give up their time to review manuscripts (we recommend that you thank the reviewers for their time and input). If the referee(s) and Editorial Board are not satisfied with the changes to your manuscript, it may still be rejected at this stage.