Addressing Reviewer Comments Recap: Key Takeaways and Additional Resources

So far this week, we’ve shared tips for addressing reviewer comments that have come from the literature, longtime Academic Medicine authors, editorial board members, and the editorial staff. If you missed any of these, you can find them here.

Today, we’d like to close the series by highlighting some key takeaways from the advice and tips we’ve shared this week and sharing some additional resources for authors.

Key Takeaways

1. Getting a revise decision is good news! The reviewers and editors believe in your paper.

2. Acknowledge and thank the reviewers for their efforts.

3. When working with co-authors, send everyone the reviews immediately. Divide questions among the team and use track changes to ensure version control.

4. Use a table to systematically respond to review comments and explain any corresponding edits. (See below for an example and blank table.)

5. You can disagree with a reviewer, but make sure you’ve considered their viewpoint and respectfully explain (and reference) your reasons to the editor in your response table.

6. Be open to adding to your limitations section. 

7. Write to the editor or journal staff if you have questions or need clarification about a comment or how to reconcile or prioritize different suggestions.

Additional Resources

We also encourage you to check out the following resources for addressing reviewer comments. All are available to access and download for free.

  • This example explanation of revisions table can give you an idea what one should look like when it is filled out. You can also download a blank explanation of revisions table for your own use from the Files and Resources section here.
  • This Last Page has tips for moving from “revisions needed” to resubmission, which we featured in the first post of this series.
  • The Review Criteria for Research Manuscripts, 2nd edition has a checklist you can use to ensure your revised manuscript includes the content and features a reviewer or editor is going to check for.
  • The Practice Review Exercise is a self-guided exercise that allows you to review an actual manuscript and includes an example of the authors’ response to the reviewers and their revised submission.

This is the second writing series we’ve done on AM Rounds. You can find the first one on writing effective titles here. We plan to continue using AM Rounds to share strategies for improving your writing with an eye toward getting published and sharing your scholarship with the world. If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, please do reach out. You can leave a comment below, tweet us at @AcadMedJournal, or email us at