Revise and Resubmit
Responding to Reviewers’ Comments
If you have received a ‘revise and resubmit’ decision the first thing to note is that we mean it: revise and resubmit. Reviewers could have rejected the paper, so do not be disheartened by the decision, but equally, revise your paper. Whether you secretly think the reviewers are an out-of-date bunch that clearly do not understand your vision, or not (hopefully not), please assume that each reviewer intended their comments to be helpful. As such consider the following in your response to reviewers:
- Be professional in your response. We ask the reviewers to comment in the spirit of creating a generous community, we invite you to do the same in your response.
- Reviewers generally want to help you get your paper published in Capacious and so each criticism usually merits some kind of change in your paper.
- Make it easy for reviewers to understand what you have done to address their criticisms. If you have addressed multiple concerns by re-writing, or even removing, a whole section, then state what you have done – do not expect reviewers to remember your previous paper and notice the differences.
- Summarize how you have addressed each of the reviewer’s concerns, you can do this in a short paragraph, or in a bullet point form, for example:
Reviewer 1, comment 1: “The paper lacks a coherent argument and a clear conclusion, though the ideas seem interesting.”
Response 1: Thank you for your feedback on my argument, I have addressed your first concern by re-writing the introduction to include a much clearer thesis statement, i.e. “insert your glorious thesis of diamond-like clarity.” In addition, I have clarified the conclusion, please see page 5, which in short states “insert your thunderous concluding statement.”
- The clearer your response and the most capaciously you have taken on board the criticisms the quicker the route to publication.
Reviewers may request another round of reviews, they might respond to your response, or you might simply receive another decision from the Editors-in-Chief. Whatever the case your resubmission will be reviewed again, so your response will read and responded to, hopefully within four to six weeks.
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The University has developed a set of guidelines for the conduct of a thesis re-examination. These include a provision for new examiners to be appointed when initial examiners are unavailable. During a re-examination, examiners are requested to determine whether or not the revised thesis now meets the requirements of the degree as specified. During a re-examination, examiners should not open up new areas for substantive discussion as there are limited opportunities for a candidate to address such concerns if further corrections are required.
For the resubmission of a thesis for re-examination:
- An invitation to re-examine the thesis is sent to all initial examiners.
- No direct contact is to take place between the candidate and the examiner. Any contact must by approved by the Higher Degree Research Committee.
- Access to the unrevised thesis is to be made available to the re-examiner, on request.
- Access to all reports, including those of the University and the initial examiners, is to be available on request to the re-examiners subject to privacy requirements.
- The candidate will submit along with the thesis and through the Higher Degree Research Committee, such documentation that addresses and responds to matters raised in the initial examination. Such documentation must be general, not examiner-specific.
- Approval to submit a revised thesis for re-examination must first be sought from the Dean of the Faculty of enrolment. The thesis, plus accompanying documentation outlining the revisions to the thesis will require the approval of the Higher Degree Research Committee before proceeding to re-examination.
If the recommendation of the HDRC is that the candidate must revise the thesis before resubmission then the candidate must re-enrol and pay any required fees if enrolled in a tuition fee-paying program. The enrolment period will normally begin within three months after the decision of the Higher Degree Research Committee and on a date agreed to by both the principal supervisor and HDR candidate. One copy of the original thesis is retained by the Higher Degree Research Office.
The candidate is required to re-submit four copies of the revised thesis in accordance with the submission requirements. Re-submission is required within one year from the date of the decision of the Higher Degree Research Committee. Candidates who choose not to proceed with the re-submission in the determined time-frame should notify the Higher Degree Research Office and will be deemed to have failed to satisfy requirements for the award of the degree.
The Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination Policy precludes a further re-examination of a thesis.