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Handling 'split-verdict' R&R's

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In our new "how can we help you?" thread, Mercado writes: I wonder what folks think about the following publishing issue. I just received a second R&R from journal x regarding a particular paper. This second set of referee comments is mixed. One referee’s comments are on the mark and helpful. But, the second referee’s comments are a bit off the mark, by my lights, and she or he recommends that the editor not publish the paper. Now, the editor’s communication regarding this second R&R seems fairly positive because he or she uses language like “before we can publish your paper you must respond to these referee comments.” My question is how much should I countenance or revise in light of the negative referee comments? I ask because seemingly the editor is not taking the second referee’s recommendation to not publish the paper. In response, Tenured SLAC chair wrote: This is a fine line to walk. I would say that in the event you do not make changes as per referee #2, that it would be wise to explicitly state why you do not feel they are necessary. This too requires a delicate hand. By the sounds of it, something like what I describe would satisfy the editor. Sorry for being so vague. I'm curious what everyone else thinks. However, my answer is a bit different. I think what Mercado should do probably depends on what referee #2's comments were actually like. Allow me to explain. Although Mercado understandably didn't give details about the case, I think there are roughly three possible scenarios here: Scenario 1 (editors overrule incompetent referee): referee #2's review was so perfunctory and lacking in justification that the editors basically overlooked it in favor of referee #1's positive review. Scenario 2 (editors find merits in both reviews): the editors found referee #1's positive review good enough for an R&R, but (having read the paper) they agree that reviewer #2's concerns are legitimate and should be dealt. . .

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News source: The Philosophers' Cocoon

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