How to Respond to Peer Review

An emotional and logistical roadmap

The peer review and publication process has hands down been the steepest part of the academic learning curve for me. Frankly, the reason peer review is so challenging is the emotional implications. This Dynamic Ecology blog about manuscript rejection is a testament to the emotional hardship of being a publishing academic, and I’d argue that burden is particularly heavy for those of us who are just starting out on their journey.

Although I still find receiving peer reviews challenging, I’ve done it enough times now to have a reliable process for response that incorporates both the logistics of the actual revisions as well as the emotional coping mechanisms. I consistently receive positive feedback from editors on the way I undertake and present revisions, and I haven’t buckled under the emotional weight of it all yet, so I figure my process might be worth sharing.

Below is a talk I’ve given on how to respond to peer review, emotionally and logistically, with templates for the materials I’ve used and tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. I hope that you find them useful! If you’re interested in having me give this talk and provide more context to some of these tools & tips, feel free to reach out!