Just to keep you updated on the paper rejection situation that was detailed in my earlier post, and in Physioprof’s post on Drugmonkey (and then Drugmonkey had one about quality of data). I had no idea that this topic would touch off so many useful posts and informative comments on this topic.
After thinking through the reviewers’ comments and writing a point-by-point rebuttal just for myself… considering everything that had been written in those posts above and all the comments …I took my time and wrote a carefully worded letter to the editor. I thought about it, I tried to keep it short and polite, and I had it vetted by a couple of colleagues. It went something like this:
Thank you for your recent email concerning your decision on our manuscript entitled ‘bla bla bla’. We have carefully considered your comments and those of the reviewers, and thank you for your thoughtful review.
We are, however, puzzled by the reviewers’ perceived lack of novelty of our findings in relation to what has been shown for distantly-related-but-different Bug (DRBD) . We show that our findings on my-favorite-bug (MFB) are distinct from those shown previously in DRBD in several critical ways:
1. (I just like lists, so I made a short one)
These data show that the role of xyz in MFB is different from it’s role in DRBD bug. Perhaps we failed to make these points strongly enough in our manuscript.
Furthermore, we are perplexed by the perceived ‘premature’ nature of our findings as the basis for rejection. We have already completed several of the experiments requested by the reviewers (another brief list here), and this data was not included in the manuscript- but could be. While it is true that we have not defined XYZ (which is, by the way our favored hypothesis), it will require many experiments and a very large and detailed body of work to address this issue. This work is beyond the scope of this manuscript.
I apologize for the lengthy email about this- but wonder if you might consider a point-by-point rebuttal and a revised manuscript for the current review, in light of these points.
I sent this off… and heard from the assistant promptly that she would deliver this to the editor/editorial board. Don’t know if this is a great letter or not… don’t know what will happen next…now we wait. Again.