It's important to state that it's not always necessary to make all of the changes suggested by the reviewers. Not only do reviewers give different levels of importance to the changes that they suggest, but also it is ultimately the journal editor, not the reviewers themselves, who decides whether to accept or reject your paper after taking into account the reviewers' comments. However, before you decide not to make a change to your paper, we suggest that you check your answers to the following questions:
- 1. Does the reviewer's comment suggest you did not explain your work clearly enough?
- 2. Does the comment concern an important point or perspective you hadn't thought about previously?
- 3. Does addressing the comment in order to get it through peer review require only a relatively minor change that wouldn't hurt your paper or your reputation to make?
If you answer "yes" to these questions, then consider making a change to your paper.
But if you answer "no," then how can you decline to address the comment?
The basic structure is simple, and based on respect:
- Acknowledge the reviewer's suggestion
- Then state why you're not going to make the suggested change
There are several types of phrases that are useful in declining to meet a specific suggestion, depending on the reason that you're not doing so. Here are some appropriately worded responses to those suggestions that authors commonly disagree with.
You can also mix-and-match some of the answers to fit a number of different situations where you might decide not to change your paper.