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How to reply to referees’ comments when submitting manuscripts for publication

Williams, Hywel C.


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Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology


Background: The publication of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals is a fairly complex and stepwise process that involves responding to referees’ comments. Little guidance is available in the biomedical literature on how to deal with such comments.
Objective: The objective of this article is to provide guidance to novice writers on dealing with peer review comments in a way that maximizes the chance of subsequent acceptance.
Methods: This will be a literature review and review of the author’s experience as a writer and referee.
Results: Where possible, the author should consider revising and resubmitting rather than sending an article elsewhere. A structured layout for responding to referees’ comments is suggested that includes the 3 golden rules: (1) respond completely; (2) respond politely; and (3) respond with evidence.
Conclusion: Responding to referees’ comments requires the writer to overcome any feelings of personal attack, and to instead concentrate on addressing referees’ concerns in a courteous, objective, and evidencebased way. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;51:79-83.)


Williams, H. C. (2004). How to reply to referees’ comments when submitting manuscripts for publication. Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology, 51(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Deposit Date Apr 8, 2008
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2008
Journal Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Print ISSN 0190-9622
Electronic ISSN 0190-9622
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 1
Public URL