Responding to reviewers’ comments as part of writing for publication
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Responding to reviewers’ comments as part of writing for publication

Brenda Happell Director, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Central Queensland University, Australia

Aims The aim of this paper is to provide a resource for authors to help them in getting their work published. The focus is on dealing with, and responding to, the comments of reviewers.

Background The importance to research of nurses writing for publication is widely acknowledged. However, a number of significant barriers to nurses actively engaging in this form of dissemination has been identified. Ways in which nurses can avoid the pitfalls that would make their manuscripts more likely to be rejected have been the subjects of published articles. Significantly less attention has been devoted to providing authors with methods to assist them in responding when their manuscripts are rejected or major revisions are requested.

Discussion This article provides a brief overview of the process of editorial review. It offers a practical but structured approach to responding to reviewers’ comments when undertaking major revisions and to preparing a rejected manuscript for resubmission to another journal.

Conclusion Authors frequently respond negatively to reviewers’ comments and this may result in their being dissuaded from writing for publication. A structured approach to dealing with reviewers’ comments may help nurses in making the requested revisions and increase their chances of publication.

Implications for research The publication of research findings and other scholarly work are important for the professional advancement of nursing. Strategies to overcome the barriers to writing for publication are essential to achieving this goal. Helping authors to respond positively to reviewer critique and to make the necessary changes are important steps in this process.

Nurse Researcher. 18, 4, 23-27. doi: 10.7748/nr2011.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Accepted: 22 July 2010

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