Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Handling Revise and Resubmission Request Letters

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Handling Revise and Resubmission Request Letters

Article excerpt

This column is meant to assist authors in the revision process. Specifically, the information in this column is intended to help writers handle requests to revise and resubmit in a logical and timely fashion.

If you receive an editorial decision letter asking you to revise and resubmit your work for further review, consider this a positive sign - most papers are initially rejected outright with no request for any resubmission. Although this decision may certainly seem positive compared to a rejection, for many writers, struggling to find the time to thoroughly revise and resubmit a manuscript can seem more consuming than starting from scratch.

One common mistake that many authors make is to simply read the decision letter and file it away until the requested deadline for resubmission nears. The problem with procrastination in revision is that often, the feedback from the reviewers requires significant rewriting and will likely also require authors to include a separate document that adequately addresses and substantiates how each of the requested changes was made. Addressing so many changes can seem very overwhelming at first, especially when the reviewers might direct you to include mention or review of a specific work that is relevant to your own that you overlooked. However, by failing to heed the reviewer's suggestions, you are substantially reducing the likelihood that your work will be accepted the second time around. Instead, a more logical approach would be to make yourself a realistic time line, breaking down the number of suggested revisions you will make over a 30-day period (which is a common window for resubmission, although this may vary from journal to journal).

So what is the best approach to handle a seemingly unrealistic time line? Whereas 30 days may seem sufficient to an editor, for a busy school psychologist coping with busy IEP writing times, or a graduate student or professor in the middle of midterms, asking for a reasonable extension might be warranted. The best way to approach this is with confidence. For example, a letter or e-mail to the editor should include the following elements when responding to a request for revision.

Thank the editors and reviewers for taking the time to put so much effort into giving you important suggestions to improve your work. …

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